Steve Forbes, who made the move from head coach at Northwest Florida State to joining Gregg Marshall’s staff at Wichita State, wasn’t the only coach to go from the junior college ranks to Division I this week.
On Wednesday, Houston head coach James Dickey announced the addition of former Navarro Junior College (Texas) head coach Johnny Estelle to his coaching staff. Estelle, who has been the head coach at Navarro since 2008, led the Bulldogs to a record of 126-48 during his tenure at the school and won three Region XIV tournament titles.
And he’s got a connection to the Houston program, with current senior guard Jimmie Jones being one of three Navarro products who have transferred to Houston during Estelle’s run as head coach. The other two, Darian Thibodeaux (2010-12) and Leon Gibson (2011-13), have since graduated from UH.
“We are excited to welcome Johnny to the University of Houston,” Dickey said in the release announcing the hire. “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 replaces Daniyal Robinson (who joined Porter Moser’s staff at Loyola-Illinois), joins Alvin Brooks and Ronnie Hamilton on Dickey’s coaching staff for the 2013-14 season. The Cougars, who finished the 2012-13 season with a 20-13 record, will play its first season in the American Athletic Conference this winter.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.