He’s a basketball coach.
That’s what Michael Landers will gladly tell you. He’s honest and up front about who he is and what he wants to become, and that’s just one of the reasons Navarro College hired Landers to become its men’s basketball coach.
Landers, who has had tremendous success coaching women’s basketball including two national JUCO titles, got the phone call Friday. He couldn’t have been happier.
“I’m a basketball coach,’’ he said. “If you look at my record, I’ve been successful everywhere I’ve been. I feel I know how to run a program and feel I know how to win.
“I don’t have experience as a men’s coach. I can’t hide the fact that I have been a women’s basketball coach, but I’m a basketball coach. I think I have a system that will translate over to the men’s program. I don’t think the adjustment will be that great.’’
Becoming a men’s coach isn’t a reach for Landers, who has thought about making the move before.
“I have thought about it on several situations,’’ he said. “But the timing wasn’t right or the situation wasn’t right. The fact I’m familiar with the region and the fact I’ve known (Navarro AD) Roark Montgomery for 10 years and the fact I respect the basketball program and the athletic program at Navarro made me want this job.’’
Landers heard about the opening the day Johnny Estelle left Navarro on July 10 to take a job as an assistant coach at the University of Houston. Estelle leaves gigantic shoes to fill — he went 126-48 and won three regional championships in his eight years at Navarro.
“I was told about the job the day Johnny resigned, and I saw some reports on Twitter,’’ Landers said. “I have a great respect for the program and the overall athletic program at Navarro and became intrigued about the job.’’
He applied two days later, came to Corsicana for two interviews, and got the phone call on Friday, two days before his 42nd birthday.
“That’s a pretty good birthday gift,’’ Landers said.
Landers started his career at East Texas Baptist University, where he was an assistant for four years and the head coach for three years, going 76-13. He had two stints at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens and had a 299-39 record over 10 years that included national titles in 2004 and 2012. He won eight conference championships and five regional championships while he was in Athens.
Landers spent a year between TVCC jobs at Baton Rouge Community College, where he was the athletic director and women’s basketball coach. He went 22-6 his only year there and returned to TVCC in 2010.
Landers coached at TVCC along with his wife, Kenya, for his final two seasons. They went 70-3, including a 36-0 season in 2012 when he won his second national title at TVCC.
He left TVCC to become the assistant women’s basketball coach at Ole Miss, but left six months later when the head coach was fired.
Landers, 41, has been a sales consultant in Fort Worth for the past eight months, and wanted to return to coaching.
“I am very glad to be back in coaching, very much so,’’ Landers said. “I’ve missed coaching and teaching and being around young people. I wanted to get back to it.
“When I got the call I was a bit surprised and very thankful and very appreciative. I would imagine there was a great pool of coaches. It’s such a good position. I’ve followed Navarro from a distance for 10 years. I’m really appreciative for the opportunity because I don’t have experience on the men’s side. But I am a basketball coach.’’
He’s a basketball coach.
CHS Softball: Tigers win district opener over Jacksonville, 5-4
Whether it was the talking in the dugout, the extra adrenaline because it was the district opener or even those blue and yellow bows in their hair, something looked different about Corsicana’s Tigers softball team on Tuesday afternoon.
“I think it was our heart and our fight that kept us in it,’’ said Sidney Kirk, who pitched and got the win after Jourdan “Bucky” Bruce drove in the winning run in the bottom of the sixth to lift the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over Jacksonville.
GC Softball/Baseball: Mildred downs Rice, BG wins Italy Tournament
Mildred’s softball team improved to 2-0 in the district race and 12-2 for the season with a 15-4 win over Rice.
Joanna Tapley (5-1) went the distance to get the win.
Navarro Baseball: Bulldogs win 3-of-4 with two walk-offs
Whoa Dill swears he doesn’t have a walk-off signal for his players, but Dill's Navarro Bulldogs completed a pretty impressive four-game stretch on Monday, winning three of four games and winning twice with walk-off hits.
CHS Tennis: Tigers win Spring Slam Tournament
Corsicana’s spring tennis team won the title at the Corsicana Spring Slam Tennis Tournament, scoring 146 points o run away from second place All Saints, which scored 130.
Willis was third (106), Kilgore finished fourth (105) and Nacogdoches was fifth (102).
The Tigers had one singles player and two doubles team win titles.
GC Baseball/Softball: Weekend Roundup -- Wortham wins fifth in a row; Frost, Mildred, Dawson softball teams win
The Wortham Bulldogs, who got off to a slow start because of the basketball team’s run in the playoffs, have now won five in a row since having its full team of players.
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Navarro Baseball: Lewis delivers in 10th, Bulldogs beat Angelina 2-1
Navarro’s Bulldogs pulled out a critical Region XIV baseball game on Friday afternoon, beating Angelina 2-1 in 10 innings to open a three-game series with the Roadrunners.
CG Baseball/Softball: Roundup
Mildred's softball team and Wortham's baseball teams both win.
CHS Basketball: Two Tigers make All-District first team
Corsicana’s Tigers capped off an emotion season in which they finished in a tie for third and then battled for a playoff spot by placing two players on the District 16-4A All-District first team and three more on the second team as postseason honors were announced.
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- CHS Softball: Tigers win district opener over Jacksonville, 5-4