Tigres interim head coach Marco Antonio ‘Chima’ Ruiz celebrated his first victory with the team since inheriting the managerial position on February 10, inspiring a 4-2 triumph over Pumas UNAM on Saturday.
“I am excited and happy, because people do not know how hard it has been for me to get to this moment,” he said after the match.
Chima replaced Diego Cocca, who was fired by Tigres to become the head coach of the Mexican national team. Despite rumors that Cocca would continue working with Tigres through the end of the 2023 Clausura, and simply step away to head Nations League matches with El Tri in March, club president Mauricio Culebro emphasized his fan base deserves “full-time” attention.
“Today, the club must look forward. We know we have full-time fans, and they deserve to have a full-time head coach, players and staff,” added Culebro.
Consequently, the club president named Chima as interim manager for the remainder of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura.
“I have been a technical director for 14 years and I have been through many situations. I have broken stones everywhere. I have almost 100 international matches leading the Mexican national team youth levels, two World Cups, Central Americans, a runner-up, I’m not impromptu,” said Chima at a post-match press conference.
Tigres currently sit in second place of the Liga MX table, after a strong start to the tournament with 14 points in six games and a record of 4W-0L-2D. The victory against Pumas on Saturday propelled the team past reigning champions Pachuca, cementing their place among the top four almost halfway through the tournament.
The team returns to the field on Tuesday when hosting FC Juarez at Estadio Universitario.