Come on down, the water is fine.
That was Johnny Estelle's message to Corsicana on Tuesday as the former Navarro College basketball coach began to settle in as the new head coach at A&M/Kingsville.
“We are 40 minutes from the beach.'' Estelle said. “If there's anybody in Corsicana who wants to go to the beach, give us a call. The people at Navarro College and Corsicana will always be in my heart. We just need a 24-hour notice.''
That's Estelle, the ever positive coach who always talks about how much he loved his 13 years at Navarro College, where he left his mark on the program.
After spending a year as the assistant coach at the University of Houston, Estelle is starting over at Kingsville, a place that — like Corsicana — is dear to his heart.
“I call Kingsville Corsicana South and I call Corsicana Kingsville North,'' said Estelle, who has come full circle, coming back to where it all began. He was a player and graduate assistant coach for the Javelinas back in the late 1990s.
He was the team's point guard from 1994 through 1996, and then became a student assistant coach and later a graduate assistant coach.
“Kingsville has always been a very special place for me. It's like Corsicana, it's about the people,'' Estelle said. “The people are phenomenal. It was like a second home.''
Estelle's success at Navarro highlights a resume full of success. He spent 13 years at Navarro, including eight years as the assistant coach to the legendary Lewis Orr. He went 126-48 as a head coach and won three regional titles and a conference title.
He left Navarro last summer for the Houston job under Coach James Dickey, but Dickey resigned at the end of the season and is now an assistant at Oklahoma State.
Estelle moved on.
“The opportunity presented itself,'' he said of the Kingsville job. “I am coming full circle coming back to Kingsville. I have great memories of being here. The best thing about Kingsville is I met my wife here. That's the best recruit of my life.''
Estelle said he has been welcomed with open arms.
“There were a lot of people at the press conference that were here when I was here before and they were very supportive,'' Estelle said. “When you do the right things and treat people the right way relationships are going to last.
“It's always good to see familiar faces. It's exciting. We won a championship when I played here and I want to win a championship here as a coach,'' he said.
Estelle will have his work cut out for him. The Division II Javelinas went 8-18 last year and were only 3-11 in the Lone Star Conference — and the cupboard is pretty bare.
“Some graduated, others left,'' Estelle said. “Several guys transferred. We've go to get some more players. We'll build a foundation from that point. We have about two or three players. Where the program is, I have to recruit a whole new team now.''
Estelle will have a chance to recruit and build with his kind of players.
“We're going to play like we played at Navarro,'' said Estelle, whose teams run the floor with an entertaining fast-pace attack.
“We're going to be up and down, the same kind of game.''
“Everything is a challenge. That's where we are,'' he said. “We will try to build it every day and build a foundation that will withstand anything.''
Come on down, the water is fine.
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Dawson eyes playoffs
Nothing feels the same at Dawson.
It's not only a new season in a new district but second-year Coach Alica Sexton enters the year after having a full season with her kids — a season that revamped the program at Dawson, where they hadn't won in years.
Navarro Football: Nothing changes for success-minded Bulldogs
It didn't take long for Navarro football Coach Brian Mayper to deliver his preseason message at the SWJCFC Media Day Thursday.
“No surprises at Navarro,'' said Mayper, the first of the seven conference coaches to speak to the media. “We're running the same stuff. You guys know we're going to run the ball. And thank God, we're not changes defenses again this year.''
Mayper's real message is that life at Navarro is all about winning, and all about a culture that expects to win.
“We expect to win them all. If you don't, you're in the wrong business,'' Mayper said. “I think our kids expect it, too.''
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Frost set for a big season
Everybody's back at Frost.
“This will probably never happen again,'' said Frost volleyball Coach Elaine Woods, who returns every player from last year's team.
They are not only back, but they are talented — arguably the most talented group of volleyball players in Frost history.
Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech
Keith Davis believes in dreams.
He lived his.
That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.
TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament
The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.
Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet
There are leaps and bounds, and then there's what the Corsicana YMCA Tiger Sharks did over the weekend at the Lone Star state swimming meet in Frisco.
Mildred's Shimonek transferring from Iowa, will walk on at Texas Tech
Former Mildred quarterback and Golden Circle Del Thrash Player of the Year Nic Shimonek is leaving the University of Iowa after one red-shirt year and transferring to Texas Tech because of Iowa's pro-style offense.
GC Baseball/Softball: Mildred names Zamzow new baseball coach; AD Chambliess to coach softball again
The Mildred Eagles didn’t have to go far to find a new baseball coach to replace Aaron Tidwell, who left the diamond to take the job as the principal of Mildred High School.
On Saturday, Mildred named softball coach Brett Zamzow its new baseball coach as Zamzow, who was Tidwell's assistant for five years, moves back to baseball after spending a year coaching softball.
To complete the move Mildred Athletic Director Billy Dan Chambliess will take over the softball team. Chambliess, who is the head football coach, spent fours years coaching softball before becoming the school’s AD last year. All four of his teams won district titles.
Morgan; Remembering House and a better era
The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.
GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win
His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
“I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''
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