Maybe he should have brought a recliner and just leaned back and relaxed.
After all, Michael Landers feels right at home at Trinity Valley Community College, where he spent two successful stints as the women’s basketball coach.
But when returned to TVCC on Wednesday for the Region XIV Media Conference Landers had a new look, a new team and a new goal.
And he’s not even at home at Trinity Valley.
“Not any more,’’ said Landers, who replaced Johnny Estelle as Navarro College’s men’s basketball coach after 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.
Landers steps in with all the respect in the world from the other coaches in Region XIV.
“When I heard Johnny Estelle left Navarro I was jumping up and down,’’ said Trinity Valley men’s coach Kris Baumann. “It was the happiest two weeks of my life. Then they hired Michael Landers. and that ended. He’s the best guy they could have hired.’’
Baumann and the rest of the coaches in this prestigious conference feel same way about Landers, who 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 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 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 also 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.
He returns to the region as a men’s coach and a sense of humor.
“When I was the women’s coach I would always finish my games and then watch the men’s games,’’ Landers said Wednesday as he took the podium at the media conference. “I would watch the men’s teams in this league and said to myself many times that you would have to be a fool to coach the men’s teams in this league. But now I’m a men’s coach.’’
Landers has a great respect for Navarro’s former coaches and the program they built, and promised on Wednesday to follow that tradition.
“They set a foundation and a philosophy of winning and made Navarro basketball what it is,’’ Landers said. “I want to do things the Navarro way.’’
Landers has five sophomores returning, and is already impressed with his team.
“If the young people buy into to what we want them to do, I think we’ve got a chance to be very competitive and win championships,’’ he said.
Navarro doesn’t bring back any player who averaged double figures, but that’s just fine with Landers. Tony Foster averaged 9.5 points a game, which fits into what Landers wants to see.
“We’re going to be very balanced,’’ Landers said. “We’re more focused on having multiple guys scoring. We would like to play uptempo and play as fast as we can go without (turning the ball over and making mistakes), and we want to take good shots and make the most of every possession.’’
Navarro opens in two weeks at home against East Texas Flight on Nov. 1, but Landers and his Bulldogs already have made a name for themselves. When the preseason coaches poll was released Wednesday, Navarro was listed as the No. 2 team in the East Zone, right behind powerhouse Kilgore, which received eight of the 11 first-place votes. The Bulldogs received two of the 11 first-place votes.
Tyler picked up one first-place vote and was the third pick in the East followed by Trinity Valley, Paris, Panola and Bossier Parish.
Lee was the top team in the West Zone, followed by San Jacinto, Lamar State, Jacksonville, Blinn, Angelina and Coastal Bend.
The poll is in, now comes the season and a new look for Navarro, and a promise from Landers.
“We’re going to bring it every night,’’ Landers said.
Maybe he should have brought a recliner and just leaned back and relaxed.
Morgan; Remembering House and a better era
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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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With only two months before opening day of archery season you should already have your bow maintenance complete, be shooting daily and chomping at the bit for our favorite day to arrive!
Let’s face it, few animals turn our rotors like whitetail deer.
All-State Baseball: Corsicana's Harlan and Wolver honored on TSWA/Collin Street Bakery 4A All-State Baseball team
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Gymnastics: Kaylana Dickson celebrates national title with fans and her uncle David Hawthorne
Kaylana Dickson got the name Bebop on her way to winning a national title in gymnastics this summer, and boy did it catch fire.
Kaylana, a Corsicana native, picked up fans from all over the country and many bought Bebop T-shirts to help pay her expenses to Spokane, Wa., where she won the 8-and-under title in the double-mini trampoline event and finished third in floor exercise.
More than 100 of her friends, family members and fans showed up at the Corsicana YMCA on Saturday to celebrate the national title and be on hand for a drawing for an autographed New Orleans Saints football jersey from David Hawthorne, a star defensive lineman for the Saints and Kaylana's uncle
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UIL Football: State championships to be held at AT&T Stadium
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All-State Baseball: Sunnyvale's Wilcox tops TSWA/Collin Street Bakery Class 2A team
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Morgan: All-star games and all-star shame
If there is anything more useless than a political promise, it’s an all-star game. I don’t care what sport at what level. Any all-star game is simply an exhibition, a reward for being among the best (maybe). Any one of them is about as relevant as the IRS’s “dog ate my homework” excuse for losing emails.
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