Hintz ready for opportunity at RCTC
Over the past dozen years, Derrick Hintz has filled a number of coaching roles for the Rochester Community and Technical College football team. This year he gets the job he really wanted: Head coach.
Hintz was named interim head coach in July, just weeks prior to the start of practice, when Brad LaPlante excepted a high school coaching position in Texas. Now Hintz looks to continue RCTC's long standard of excellence in football. He would also like the opportunity to become the head coach and lose the interim title.
"Absolutely, I would like to," the 46-year-old said of having the job permanently.
"I've been working for this a long time," Hintz added. "I have to make the most of the opportunity."
He was the team's defensive coordinator a year ago and has also been linebackers coach, offensive line coach and special teams coach for the Yellowjackets over the years.
Hintz, a former wrestler at RCTC, is also finding out how much time it takes to be the head coach at RCTC.
"You never know until you've done it," he said. "I knew Brad (LaPlante) was always busy."
Hintz is a school teacher in the Byron school district, where he and his family (a wife and two teenage children) reside.
"The biggest challenge will be the balancing act between Byron High School, football and family," he said. "Thank God I have a patient family."
He is also getting used to being in the fore-front of the program.
"He would rather be out of the limelight and be behind the scenes," said Deb Hintz, Derrick's wife.
One thing he won't do is step on the toes of his other coaches. Hintz, who's forte is defense, likes the fact that most of the staff from a year ago is back in place.
"I've told my coaches from day one, I'm going to let them coach," Hintz said. With that in mind, he said the Yellowjackets will continue to play aggressively on both sides of the ball.
So don't expect any major changes in the program, on or off the field.
"I'm a program guy. .... I know there are a certain way to do things and that's what we will continue to do," Hintz said.
That tradition has been "to come early, stay late and outwork everybody else," Hintz said. "And to respect our opponent and the program."
Hintz would like nothing better than to guide the Yellowjackets to another Southern Division title, a Minnesota College Athletic Conference state championship and a bowl berth. RCTC has 16 states titles, more than any other junior college football team in the state. The Yellowjackets have also played in 20 bowl games.
"You've got to set your goals high or you'll never be able to reach them," Hintz said.
Hintz is getting a chance to realize one of his goals in being the head coach at RCTC.
"We're just going to continue to work (hard)," he said. "I'm a big believer of (former Twins manger) Tom Kelly, taking them one game at a time."