KINGSVILLE, Texas — New Texas A&M-Kingsville football coach Mike Salinas' return to Kingsville is producing a lot of excitement about a former Javelinas player returning to lead the once-proud program back from its recent struggles.
Salinas is a former Javelinas player and assistant coach who still has a lot of friends in the area. He's married to a member of the Javelinas' Athletic Department Hall of Fame. And, he's got a proven record as a high school head coach after stops at Edinburg Robert Vela and Weslaco.
But he also arrives with some strong endorsements by many notable people. Here are a collection of a few of them that were compiled by the Texas A&M-Kingsville Sports Information Department and released upon Salinas' hiring.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT MIKE SALINAS
- "As a former team captain and assistant coach, Mike Salinas is a proud Javelina who has a proven record of success everywhere he has coached. A native of the Rio Grande Valley, Coach Salinas knows Texas and Texas high school football. Please join me in welcoming Coach Salinas to Kingsville." - Mark A. Hussey, Ph.D., president, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
- "It is always special when a school can welcome back one of their own. I coached Mike when he played collegiately for the Javelinas and can't be more happy for both Mike and Texas A&M-Kingsville. Having played and coached for the Javelinas, Mike understands the culture that is needed to rebuild this once great program and bring it back to national prominence. He is well respected by his peers, former players and teammates. All Javelina fans should be especially excited about their new head football coach and what the future holds. It will be fun to watch him unite the University, the city of Kingsville and all of South Texas and bring back the high expectations and standards that Javelina football fans are used to seeing each and every year." - Chris Ballard, general manager, Indianapolis Colts
- "I would like to congratulate Mike Salinas for being named the next football coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville. His work ethic, his passion and his desire to be successful will bring back the winning tradition. His knowledge of our history and how winning programs should perform on and off the field will change the culture of Kingsville." - Roberto Garza, former Chicago Bear and Javelina football alum, Javelina Hall of Famer
- Mike Salinas is a leader, a proven winner, and a homegrown talent that understands the importance of both work ethic and culture." - Ed Dodds, assistant general manager, Indianapolis Colts
- "As a proud alumnus of this prestigious university and current head coach, I am honored to welcome Mike Salinas and his beautiful family back home as the new Texas A&M-Kingsville head football coach. Mike has always exhibited the successful qualities of a Javelina, with great work ethic, integrity, discipline, loyalty, knowledge, and most of all, pride. He is a winner in every aspect of life and believes in commitment to excellence. Mike will build a first-class program and with the support of Javelina Nation, he, his staff and his players will restore us to the glory days of national recognition and championships." - Johnny Estelle, current head men's basketball coach, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Javelina Hall of Famer.
Pretty heady endorsements indeed. Bringing a former Javelinas player and coach back into the fold as their head football coach appears to be a master stroke, at least from the early reactions.