KINGSVILLE, Texas — Omar Gonzalez has been named the 17th head coach of the Texas A&M-Kingsville men's basketball program as announced by Javelina Athletics on Wednesday morning.
Gonzalez takes over the program after serving as an assistant coach for former head coach Johnny Estelle at TAMUK for the past five seasons as the Javelinas posted a record of 54-26 in that time aiding the Javelinas to three NCAA Tournament appearances (2020, 2022, 2023).
"For nearly a decade, Coach Gonzalez has helped lead our team under the mentorship of Coach Estelle," said Texas A&M-Kingsville President Dr. Robert Vela. "I am confident that Coach Gonzalez is well-prepared to continue our program's success and tradition of excellence."
During his time in Kingsville, the Javelinas have posted two 20-plus wins season the most recently coming last year in 2022-23 where the Javelinas went 21-12 on the year and 14-8 in Lone Star Conference play winning the East Division and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for only the eighth time in program history.
"We are excited to have coach Gonzalez take over the program going forward. He has already made incredible contributions to the program as a member of the coaching staff, and I am excited about the future of our program with him at the helm," said Javelina Athletic Director Steve Roach. "He has strong relationships with our current student-athletes, understands what it means to be a Javelina, and there is no better person to lead this program forward building on the legacy of Javelina basketball."
Gonzalez has also helped develop 17 All-LSC selections as well as an LSC All-Defensive selections Creighton Avery and Will Chayer in 2021.
"Coach Gonzalez is an outstanding leader and man of character while also being a phenomenol basketball coach." said former head coach Johnny Estelle regarding Gonzalez. "Omar has been elite at building and managing relationships with student-athletes and others in the Kingsville Community. He possesses the necessary coaching experience, knowledge, integrity, and work ethic that will allow him to be a successful head coach and asset to Javelina Nation!"
In the 2021-22 season, Gonzalez helped the Javelinas reach the Lone Star Conference Tournament championship game as the No. 8 seed upsetting No. 1 seed Lubbock Christian in the semifinals, 72-69 en route to finishing as conference runner-up.
In 2020-21, the hard work of Gonzalez and the rest of the coaching staff paid off in the form of a 15-3 record, good enough for an .833 win percentage that stands as the best in school history. During one stretch, the Javelinas did not lose for more than two months, stringing together 11 straight wins to match a team record. Four TAMUK student-athletes achieved all-conference status, including one of Gonzalez's prize pupils, junior forward Will Chayer, who was an All-Lone Start Conference Second-Team pick and made the LSC All-Defensive Team.
"I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead this program. I thank Athletic Director Steve Roach, Dr. Robert Vela, and Coach Johnny Estelle for making this possible. Having been a Graduate Assistant to Assistant Coach to now Head Coach at TAMUK has truly been a blessing to me," said new head coach Gonzalez. "I hope to follow in the footsteps of Coach Estelle and continue to lead Javelina Men's Basketball to high levels of success. I believe we have a great group of young men returning that can continue to have the success we have had over the last 5 seasons. My vision is to continue to have success both on and off the court."
Prior to serving as an assistant for the Javelinas, Gonzalez was on staff as a graduate assistant from 2014-2017 as he earned his master's degree in education and human performance from Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Gonzalez spent the 2017-18 campaign as an assistant coach at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, helping the Buccaneers accumulate 20 wins and reach the regional semi-finals. The team also placed three student-athletes on the All-Region XIV squad.
Prior to coming to Kingsville, Gonzalez spent two seasons as the head manager of the University of Houston basketball team. His duties included planning and coordinating official recruiting visits and assisting with practices, travel itineraries and summer camps. He also served as intramurals coordinator, training new basketball referees.
Gonzalez first opportunity in basketball came at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he was the basketball manager for two seasons. He received a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and Sports Administration in 2014 from the University of Houston.
There will be an open introductory press conference tomorrow at McCulley Hall at 1:30 p.m. where coach Gonzalez and Javelina Athletics will be available for questions from the media.
Fans can learn more about the Javelina men's basketball by following @JavelinaMBB on Twitter and Instagram, liking Texas A&M University-Kingsville Men's Basketball on Facebook, subscribing to the Javelina Athletics YouTube channel, and visiting Javelinaathletics.com.