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When it comes to language, new RCTC football coach runs a 'clean' program

Aug. 26—Football players probably learn at a very young age that coaches can use some pretty salty language.

And the higher the player goes up through the ranks, the more colorful the language can be. But players at Rochester Community and Technical College are having a new and perhaps rare occurrence under Terrance Isaac Sr., who is in his first year coaching the Yellowjackets.

"We do things a little differently," Isaac Sr. said. "I don't allow my coaches to curse."

Isaac Sr. is in his 19th season as a football coach and his 12 as a head coach. He comes to RCTC after coaching at MCAC rival Vermilion Community College a year ago.

Isaac Sr. noticed while working with some coaches in the past that a lot of yelling and cursing at players was having a negative impact. And he told himself when he became a head coach, he was going to run a "clean" program in terms of vocabulary.

That mindset not only extends to the coaches, but the players as well. Isaac Sr. wants to show his players and coaches that they can communicate without using profanity.

"So over the years I said, 'If you never hear your coaches curse at you, there's no reason for you to say one cuss word.' You never hear it from us," Isaac Sr. said. "I tell guys, 'I'm going to get on you, I'm going to coach you hard, but I'm never going to disrespect you.' And in return, I want the same thing."

RCTC players are not being cursed at by coaches, and they also have to choose their words more wisely.

"You don't have to say those things," RCTC freshman quarterback Sylas Christie said. "You don't have to have that type of vocabulary. Even in our meetings he's like 'You guys better get a dictionary and learn some new words because we're going to be professionals out here.' And I respect that and I think you look more professional when you do that."

"I operate off of respect," Isaac Sr. said.

The coach also wants his players to act professional and show pride and responsibility in the program. Prior to the start of the season, the Yellowjackets practiced standing for the national anthem and how to shake hands with opponents after games.

"It's just things like that that I believe in," Isaac Sr. said. "Look, if football is the only thing that you've learned from me, then I've failed you."

Isaac Sr. wants to have a relationship with his players long after they have played for him. He has kept in contact with the coaches who he played for more than a quarter century ago at Vermilion.

"That means a lot," Isaac Sr. said. "There's been some times when I've been in some tough situations and I was able to call those guys and lean on those guys. And I want the same thing with my guys. I want the relationships; it's more than just football."