KINGSVILLE, Texas — After serving eight seasons at Texas A&M-Kingsville, the Javelinas officially introduced Omar Gonzalez as the 17th head coach of the men's basketball program.
"It's truly breathtaking. Unbelievable," Gonzalez said. "You know, the trust to have in the AD, the president and coach Johnny Estelle even on his last moments here on campus fighting for me to be able to get the job."
Gonzalez was the right-hand man to former head coach Johnny Estelle, aiding the Javelinas to three NCAA Tournament appearances over the past four years.
"You just knew Omar was ready," Steve Roach, TAMUK executive director of athletics, said. "Omar has had his hand in everything. He's not the guy to sit on the sidelines and watch."
"Coach and I really did split everything 50-50," Gonazlez said. "As far as scouting reports and responsibilities of that sort was more of what I was in charge of, so defensively that was my mindset all of the time and I am a high motor. high energy guy, just like coach."
Playbooks and drills can be studied, but some lessons as a coach just take time to develop.
"After the press conference to watch his team huddle around him and do a group hug like that to me I'm like okay, this is the right decision because he knows how to make these guys feel important and special," Roach said. "He's fantastic at building that relationship."
Gonzalez's experience outside of TAMUK was as an assistant for Blinn College and head manager for the University of Houston, but as an El Paso native he feels at home in South Texas.
"Thank you to everyone here at Texas A&M-Kingsville and the Kingsville community. Support has always been really, really high and you know when I was a grad assistant, to an assistant and now here everyone has always been in our corner."
The @JavelinaMBB introduced Omar Gonzalez (@Coach_OG_) as their 17th head coach of the men’s 🏀 program. Hear why @sroach9 thought he was the right man for the job on @KRIS6sports at 10. #LosHogs🐗 #KRIS6Sports pic.twitter.com/Bokla47XaI— Larissa Liska (@LarissaLiska) April 28, 2023