Sports - Javelinas

Apr 21, 2014 5:32 PM by Texas A&M Kingsville

Former Javelina Returns To Kingsville As Head Coach

KINGSVILLE, Texas - Scott Gines, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and Campus Recreation, announced Monday that former Texas A&M-Kingsville men's basketball player and graduate assistant Johnny Estelle will be returning to the Javelina Nation as the 16th head coach in the program's history.

"Our objective from the start was to identify a highly successful head coach who will recruit and develop a roster of tough, intelligent basketball players who will contend for championships and graduate from Texas A&M-Kingsville, and I'm confident Johnny Estelle is the man who will lead Javelina Men's Basketball to new heights," said Gines.

"Johnny has infectious energy and enthusiasm; he's a proven head coach with consistent championship and post-season success; his reputation in Texas and the Southwest is highly regarded in coaching and recruiting circles; and his passion for Javelina basketball is unparalleled."

Estelle is returning to South Texas after spending the 2013-14 season at the University of Houston as an assistant coach under James Dickey helping UH to reach the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference.

Prior to joining the Cougars, the new Javelina mentor spent 13 seasons on the sidelines at Navarro College where he was the head coach his final five seasons with the school. After serving a season as a graduate assistant for former Javelina head coach, Pete Peterson, during the 1998-99 campaign, Estelle spent one season as an assistant at Northland Pioneer College where he played for two seasons in junior college.

As a player for former A&M Kingsville head coach Bill Carter, Estelle played two seasons for the Javelinas setting a single-game record for 3-point baskets with nine in the 1996 Lone Star Conference Tournament en route to MVP honors while also setting a school-record with 88 steals during the 1995-96 season. In two seasons, Estelle finished with 742 points, 214 rebounds, 211 assists and 138 steals. Following his playing career, Estelle spent one season as a student assistant under Carter.

As the head coach at Navarro, Estelle was named the NJCAA District XIV Coach of the Year three times and was a court coach in 2009 with a USA Olympic U19 team. He finished his Navarro head coaching career with a 126-48 overall record, averaging over 25 wins a season. Estelle's regular-season region mark was 68-27, and he was 13-2 in Region XIV Tournament games. Three of his teams advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament including a Final Four appearance in 2010.

During his head coaching tenure at Navarro, Estelle's teams won the region tournament title on three occasions and were nationally ranked four times. He led the Bulldogs to a No. 2 ranking during the 2009-10 season which was the second-highest in school history.

Individually, players for Estelle received numerous awards under his guidance. Among the honorees were two, first-team All-Americans; two Region XIV Conference Player of the Year winners; three Region XIV Tournament MVPs; three NJCAA National Tournament All-Tournament sections; and, one Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Junior College Player of the Year. Twelve players were chosen all-conference, and four were named first-team all-region.

Academically, Estelle's teams also excelled. He graduated 90% of his players with 13 being named to the Dean's List. The 2010 team received NJCAA All-Academic team honors with a 3.01 team GPA that ranked seventh in the nation. During his tenure, 22 players went on to play at NCAA Division I programs and 100 percent went on to play at 4-year programs.

The selection of Estelle concludes a national search for the position.

"We enjoyed a deep and experienced pool of nearly 100 applicants," Said Gines. "All four campus interviews featured highly successful head coaches - all have Sweet 16 coaching experiences, three coached in Final Fours, and two are former national coach of the year recipients."

What Others Are Saying:

"Johnny Estelle is first and foremost a tremendous person with great integrity who will serve as a terrific mentor for student-athletes. He demonstrates great passion and energy every day and knows how to build a championship program. He has a proven track record of success and he will continue this at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Coach Estelle is a rising superstar and he is a perfect hire by Scott. I wish Coach Estelle, his wonderful family and Texas A&M-Kingsville all the very best."

Mack Rhoades, University of Houston Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics

"Johnny will do an outstanding job leading the Javelinas program on and off the floor. As an alum, he will be meticulous in building it to be among the best not only in the Lone Star Conference, but nationally as well. He has worked incredibly hard at his craft since he left Texas A&M-Kingsville, and the skills and relationships he has built during his time away will help all that he is going to do there."

Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech Head Men's Basketball Coach

& former Texas A&M-Kingsville Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

"Texas A&M-Kingsville has hired a great basketball coach in Johnny Estelle. I know this is a special day for him and his family as he returns to his alma mater. Johnny is a family man, outstanding recruiter, tremendous teacher of the game and will be a great example for his players, on and off the court. He will be a great representative of the basketball program, Athletics Department and the University."

James Dickey, Former University of Houston Head Men's Basketball Coach

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