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.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week