July 10, 2013
HOUSTON - Former Navarro Junior College head coach Johnny Estelle has joined the staff of the University of Houston Men's Basketball program, head coach James Dickey announced Wednesday afternoon.
Estelle is no stranger to Houston Men's Basketball. During Dickey's three-year tenure, three former and current Bulldogs have competed for the Cougars. That group includes current senior guard Jimmie Jones, former guard Darian Thibodeaux and former forward Leon Gibson.
"We are excited to welcome Johnny to the University of Houston," said head coach James Dickey, who begins his fourth year with the Cougars in 2013-14. "Over the years, I have observed how Johnny has been able to get the most from his players. He is a family man, a quality person and has great rapport with his players. Johnny is a tremendous addition to our staff, and we are pleased to welcome him, his wife Ana and their children Jevon, Jasmine, Jacquelyn and Jayden to the Houston Basketball family."
Estelle, who is a Waco, Texas, native, became head coach at Navarro College prior to the 2008-09 season. During his seven-year stint, he led the Bulldogs to a 126-48 overall record with an unprecedented run of six Region XIV Tournament championship game appearances.
He guided Navarro College to Region XIV Tournament titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and the regular-season championship in 2013. His resume also includes two NJCAA All-America First-Team honorees, 16 Region XIV All-Conference members, 12 Region XIV All-Tournament Team members and four Region XIV Texas All-Stars vs. United States All-Star Game competitors.
Estelle and his staff were successful in placing 21 of their student-athletes in NCAA Division I programs while retaining a 90 percent graduation rate during his tenure.
"I want to thank Navarro College President Dr. Richard Sanchez, Athletics Director Roark Montgomery, (NJCAA Hall of Fame coach and former Navarro head coach) Lewis Orr and the entire Corsicana community for a great 13 years. I also would like to thank my staff and the players who were instrumental to our success at Navarro College during my tenure. It was a difficult decision for me and my family to leave such great people," Estelle said. "However, to come to the University of Houston was a great chance for me to work with a coach and a man like James Dickey with the reputation he has in our profession. Working with Coach Dickey and men like (assistant coaches) Alvin Brooks and Ronnie Hamilton was an opportunity that I could not pass up for me and my family."
His 2009-10 Navarro team posted a 30-7 overall record to tie a school single-season record for wins and advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament semifinals.
In his first year as a head coach, he guided the team to a 25-11 record, Region XIV Tournament championship and a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament. For his team's impressive accomplishments, he was named the Region XIV Coach of the Year, the first of three Region XIV honors during his career.
Following Navarro's season, he was selected to serve as a coach for the 2009 USA Basketball Men's U19 World Championship and World University Games team trials. He was one of only six coaches from across the country to receive the honor.
Estelle began his affiliation with Navarro JC as an assistant coach in 2000-01. Working with Orr, he helped lead the program to six Region XIV tournament appearances, four Region XIV tournament semifinal berths and two Region XIV tournament finals.
He entered the coaching ranks as a student assistant coach at Texas A&M-Kingsville from 1996 to 1998 and moved to a graduate assistant position in 1998-99. Estelle also served as an assistant coach at Northland Pioneer College during the 1999-00 campaign.
Estelle played college basketball at Missouri Valley College (1992-93) and Northland Pioneer College (1993-94). In his lone season at Northland Pioneer for coach Richard Zalenski, he led the team to a 30-5 record, the ACCAC and NJCAA Region I championships and a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament.
He then transferred to Texas A&M-Kingsville, where he played from 1994 to 1996. As a senior for coach Bill Carter, he led the Javelinas to a school-record 23 wins, the Lone Star Conference Tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
He earned All-Lone Star Conference Second-Team honors after averaging 16.0 points per game and swiping a school-record 88 steals. Later that season, he drained a school-record nine 3-pointers in the LSC Tournament championship against Central Oklahoma and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. It was the second straight season he was named to the league's All-Tournament Team.
A native of Waco, Texas, Estelle earned his associate's degree in general studies from Northland Pioneer College in 1994. From there, he attended Texas A&M-Kingsville, where he received bachelor's and master's degrees in kinesiology in 1998 and 1999, respectively.
He and his wife Ana have four children: sons Jevon and Jayden and daughters Jasmine and Jacquelyn.
Estelle replaces Daniyal Robinson, who accepted a similar position at Loyola (Chicago) earlier this month.
MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON TICKETS & PARKING
Deposits for the 2013-14 Men's Basketball season are now being taken in the Houston Athletics Ticket Office. For only $100, fans can guarantee their seats for the upcoming season. The deposit will be applied toward fans' 2013-14 season ticket balance.
To purchase season tickets, fans can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or 877-COUGAR-5 (268-4275) or visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center from 8 a.m., to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
To secure parking spaces, secure a priority parking pass for the season and receive other donor benefits through Cougar Pride for the upcoming season, fans should contact the Cougar Pride Office at 713-743-GoUH (4684) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans also can visit UHCougars.com and click the Cougar Pride tab where updated information will be available or click here.