A former rival, Isaac Sr., named new RCTC football coach

Terrance Isaac Sr., who coached for Vermilion in the MCAC a year ago, has been hired as the head football coach at RCTC

Terrence Isaac Mug.jpg
Isaac Sr.

As a player and a coach, Terrance Isaac Sr., was always trying to defeat Rochester Community and Technical College in football.

Now he is in charge of guiding the Yellowjackets.

The 45-year-old native of Cleveland, Ohio, was named RCTC’s head football coach on Monday. Isaac Sr., was the head coach at Vermilion for one season; the Ironmen went 2-6 in 2021.

“We are looking forward to coach Isaac’s leadership of our football program,” RCTC athletic director Mike Lester said. "In addition to his abilities as a football coach, he has shown a commitment to helping his student-athletes develop as young men. He has worked to ensure his players' success not only on the field, but in the classroom and community.”

Isaac Sr. started his college playing career at Vermilion, located in Ely. He was an All-America wide receiver and helped the Ironmen win back-to-back state championships in 1995 and ‘96. They defeated RCTC in the 1996 state title game.


“I’m very excited,” he said. “I played in the MCAC back in the '90s and Rochester has always been the measuring stick for everyone, the way they run the program and do things. So I’m very excited to come in and just try to contribute.”

Isaac Sr. has coached football for the past 18 years. He coached in high school in both Louisiana and Texas and then spent the 2021 season at Vermilion. He had a 56-29 record as a head coach in high school. He was part of teams that won three state championships, two as the head coach.

He said the facilities at RCTC and the program’s tradition will help with recruiting.

“And the location is big when it comes to recruiting,” he said. “Now schools (and players) can actually fly in and things like that. It was kind of hard to get guys to come to Ely. So being at Rochester it will be easier for colleges to come in and take a look at our guys.”

Joining a 'first-class program'

RCTC was 4-4 under Derrick Hintz in 2021. The Yellowjackets have won 21 state championships, including going 15-4 in title games in a 20-year stretch from 1996-2015. But RCTC has not played in a state championship game since the 2015 season. Isaac Sr. hopes to change that.

“Rochester has always been a first-class program and I’m happy to put my hand in the pile and continue the success that the program has enjoyed," he said.

Isaac Sr. got support from his former Vermilion players. Carlos Carter, a defensive lineman for Vermilion in 2021 Tweeted about Isaac Sr., on Monday: "Great Coach! One of the best in the game."

The late hire has put the Yellowjackets in a bit of a hole in the recruiting process. Some of Vermilion’s current players could follow Isaac Sr. to Rochester. One could be his son, Terrance Isaac Jr. He was a standout wide receiver at Vermilion a year ago, averaging 17.3 yards on 43 catches with six touchdowns.


“We’re going to actively start getting to that process and see what’s out there,” Isaac Sr. said of recruiting.

He will bring three coaches from his staff at Vermilion with him to Rochester in Christian Wilkerson, Tony McKinney and Dustin Beard.

“These are guys who have been with me for years,” Isaac Sr. said. “These are guys I trust and respect, and they trust me. We have a great relationship.”

Isaac Sr. said he likes to run a spread attack on offense and throw the ball. Defensively, he looks to make teams one dimensional.

He still has classes to teach at Vemilion and will finish the semester in Ely. He said Wilkerson will be in Rochester to head up the team’s offseason program, including weight lifting.

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Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or
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