Coach with connections to UH joins basketball program

Johnny Estelle, the former Navarro Junior College head coach, has joined the men’s basketball staff, head coach James Dickey announced Tuesday.


Estelle has connections with the program — three former or current Bulldogs play or have played at UH. That group includes redshirt senior guard Jimmie Jones, former guard Darian Thibodeaux and former forward Leon Gibson.

“We are excited to welcome Johnny to the University of Houston,” Dickey said, who begins his fourth year with the Cougars. “Over the years, I have observed how Johnny has been able to get the most from his players.”

Estelle became the head coach at Navarro JC prior to 2008-09. During his seven-year tenure, he coached the Bulldogs to a 126-48 overall record with six Region XIV Tournament championship game appearances.

In 2009-10, his Bulldogs put up a 30-7 record to tie a single-season record for wins and advanced to the NJCAA National Tournament semifinals.

“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,” he said.

Leone named to watch list

Senior punter Richie Leone has been named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, The Augusta Sports Council announced Wednesday. In 2011 and 2012, Leone was a semifinalist for the award, and this season, enters as the nation’s second-best returning punter in terms of average yards per punt with 45.5 in 2012.

Leone’s 2012 punt average tied a Cougar single-season record and led all Conference USA punters, earning him a First-Team All-Conference USA selection. Leone led the league with 20 punts over 50 yards, including four over 60 yards, and a career-long 77-yard punt against Louisiana Tech.

Leone also handled kickoff duties for the Cougars. He had 25 touchbacks on 71 kickoffs, placed 18 of his 60 punts inside the 20-yard line, including nine inside the 10-yard line.

Leone is the second Cougar in as many days to be named to a national award’s watch list as junior center Bryce Redman was named to the Rimington Trophy watch list on Tuesday.

Hurdler succeeds during the summer

Sade-Mariah Greenidge, a UH hurdler placed seventh in the women’s 100-meter hurdles Monday at the 27th World University Summer Games at the Central Stadium.

Greenidge ran a 13.46 in the preliminary round to qualify for finals, where she then ran a 13.55.

Greenidge, one of two Barbadian athletes competing at the World University Summer Games, had a solid outdoor season for the Cougars. She took home a silver medal in the 100-meter hurdles at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships with a personal best time of 13.16, qualified for the NCAA West Regional for the fourth time in her career and made her first appearance at the National level in the 100-meter hurdles and 4×100-meter relay.

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