TJC continues a championship legacy - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TJC continues a championship legacy

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There are more than 400 schools in the NJCAA.  TJC is one of just 4 junior colleges to reach 50 national championships.

"The best recruiting tool is walking by the trophy case," said  men's soccer coach Steve Clements.

Each coach is aiming to add the next trophy.

"You don't want to be the one not winning," said women's soccer coach Corey Rose.

That's rarely at problem at Tyler Junior College. During the 2014/2015 school year, 10 of the school's 12 teams finished the season ranked in the nations top 12.

"There's a standard there and you want to work hard to be at the standard," said baseball coach Doug Wren.  "I think the success is contagious."

"When we get an athlete on campus, they are amazed at what we have at Tyler Junior College," said football coach Danny Palmer.

Dr. Tim Drain has been TJC's athletic director for the past 13 years. During his tenure, the Apaches have added 19 national titles.  Drain says the standard of winning began with former athletic director and men's basketball coach Floyd Wagstaff.  The Texas Hall of Famer led TJC to their first national title in 1949.

"This place is what it is because of Wagstaff," said Drain. "Wagstaff made this place a national name and we've just been fortunate enough to maintain it."

From tennis, to soccer, golf to baseball, basketball to football, the Apaches continue to win big.

"I think it's the support for the other programs," said softball coach Nicole Dickson.  "This is the first place I've been where I've got other coaches and teams making time to come to your games and practices and be there to support you."

"I think it's really rare," said tennis coach Dash Connell.  "The coaches and friends I have at four year schools, I tell them little stories about here and the first thing they say is that's awesome."

Men's basketball coach Mike Marquis says the success starts at the top.

"We have a great supportive board," said Marquis.  "The administration from the president on down is fantastic and Dr. Drain is a great athletic director. They give all the coaches the chance to be successful."

With a cast of winning coaches, Drain believes TJC has everything a student athlete is looking for.

"You've got a beautiful campus and facilities," said Drain.  "It is a place where I can look a kid and parent in the eye and say I promise you're going to be given the opportunity to succeed."

The proof is in the trophy case, with 51 national championships and counting.

"We have a leg up on every other junior college in the United States," said former TJC athletic director and tennis coach John Peterson.  "Because of Tyler, the campus and the mechanism put in place to help you be successful."

Peterson won 25 national championships over 24 years.  Many current coaches have won championships and have no plans to leave Tyler.

"People ask me all the time, 'How long are you going to be here'?" said Rose.  "There's no other place I want to be. This is one of the best jobs in the country."

Many other TJC coaches feel the same way.

"We hope to maintain the legacy that was established by Wagstaff and continued through the years from various athletic directors and coaches," said Drain.  "It is a prideful area over here and we hope to maintain and continue for many more years."

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