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.
Texas High School Football: AP announces Class 3A all-state football team
The Texas Associated Press Sports Editors announced its Class 3A all-state high school football team on Tuesday.
GC Basketball: Frost Tournament - Rice boys, Wortham girls win titles
Rice's boys styaed unbeaten and held back Frost to win the boys title and Wortham's girls handed the Frost Lady Bears their first defeat to win the girls title in the Frost Tournament on Saturday.
GC Basketball: Weekend Roundup: Lady Jags win Hubbard Tournament
The Hubbard girls won their own tournament Saturday, beating Waco Connally for the title; Corsicana's Tigers took the consolation title at the Fairfield Tournament while Kerens' boys went 1-2 at Fairfield and the Corsicana Lady Tigers romped past Venus in a non-district game at home.
GC Football: APSE All-State Team: BG's Ellis, Mildred's O'Sullivan and Sterling, and Kerens' Anderson honored on Class 2A and Class 1A all-state teams.
Blooming Grove kicker Tyler Ellis was named to the APSE Class 2A all-state second team. and Mildred kicker Devin O'Sullivan and Mildred running back Draylon Sterling were honorable mentions on the Class 2A all-state team.
Kerens wide receiver Brett Anderson was an honorable mention on the Class 1A team.
GC Basketball: Frost and Hubbard Tournaments
The Rice boys beat Blooming Grove 74-73 on Dylnn Anderson's put-back with 3.1 seconds left to advance to the boys title game in the Frost Tournament, and the Wortham girls and Frost girls won Friday and will play for the girls title while Hubbard''s Lady Jags stayed perfect with a romp over Italy to advance to the title game in the Hubbard Tournament.
Morgan: There's No D in Dallas
Weekend sports columnist Ron Morgan gives his thoughts on the defenseless Cowboys and other topics.
GC Football: District 6-2A DII Team: Mildred, BG, Rice reap honors
Mildred had the Newcomer of the Year and placed seven players at nine positions on the first teams of the District 6-2A DII all district football team while Blooming Grove placed six first-teamers and 13 overall on the first and second teams, and Rice saw Chris Atchley make the first team offense as a fullback and first team defense as a cornerback.
GC Basketball: Frost Tournament -- Frost, Dawson sweep, Rice, Blooming Grove boys and Wortham girls win
The Frost Polar Bears and Lady Bears each won their opening games at the Frost Invitational Tournament on Thursday and Dawson's boys and girls swept. The Rice and Blooming Grove boys stayed unbeaten for the season and meet in the semifinals, and the Wortham girls also won. Hubbard's girls won the opening game at the Hubbard Tournament.
CHS Football: Tigers land six spots on District 16-4A all-district football first teams
Corsicana’s Tigers had a tough-luck season, losing several close games, but the Tigers were recognized when the District 16-4A all-district football team was released.
Kishawn Kelley, a freshman who is the future quarterback at Corsican, was voted the Co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year and the Tigers landed five players and six positions on the District 16-4A first teams, including Tiano McDonald, who was voted to the first-team offense as a tight end, and the first-team defense as a defensive tackle.
GC Basketball: Roundup -- Hubbard wins as it prepares to host 3-day tournament
Hubbard's boys and girls basketball teams tuned up for their tournament this weekend by winning games on Tuesday.
The Corsicana boys lose while the Blooming Grove boys stay perfect and Mildred's Eagles come back to win on the road.
- More Sports Headlines
- Texas High School Football: AP announces Class 3A all-state football team