Club Tijuana is going from one Argentine to another, announcing Thursday it has hired Diego Cocca to fill its head coaching vacancy.
The opening was left when Eduardo Coudet left the team without completing his first tournament in charge and Xolos finished out the season with an interim. Coudet had managed Rosario Central prior to moving north to take over for Miguel Herrera.
Former Mexico manager Herrera was able to lead Tijuana to back-to-back seasons atop the regular season table, but his exit and the departure of stars like Aviles Hurtado and Guido Rodriguez with him, were too much for the team to overcome.
Tijuana hopes the 45-year-old Cocca will be able to return the club to past glories, not only getting the young team back into the postseason but winning a Liga MX trophy as it did under another Argentine, Antonio Mohamed.
Cocca helped Racing to the 2014 league crown and departed before recently returning to take control of the club - reportedly after Coudet turned the job down. Cocca also has managed Liga MX side Santos Laguna and Millonarios in Colombia in addition to his various stops in Argentina.
Mauro Gerk will serve as his assistant coach, while Leonardo Bustos and Renso Valinoti will serve as the team's fitness coaches, according to a Tijuana news release.
Xolos acquired a handful of players during the summer window including forward duo Gustavo Bou and Miler Bolanos but it yielded just 17 goals - the fourth fewest in the league. Cocca also has work to do at the back where Tijuana conceded 23 goals while relying on an aging unit in front of young No. 1 Gibran Lajud.
The team also lost three times at home this season. Herrera had made Estadio Caliente a place opponents hated to travel, and not just because of the long distance or the league's only artificial field. Cocca will need to win fans in Baja California and Southern California over to make sure his team has their backing.