POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River men's basketball program has increased the energy level of its staff with the recent hire of assistant coach Janard Estell.
Wildcat head coach Chris Oney is ecstatic to have another experienced coach on his bench.
"Janard worked heavily behind the scenes for Troy University when they made a run to win the Sun Belt Championship and make the NCAA Tournament in 2017," Oney said. "He got a chance to see firsthand what it takes to win championships and be successful. He was also there with former Wildcat Jeremy Hollimon. He also worked at Spring Hill where he dealt with all facets of the program.
"He's a young guy that's full of energy and excitement."
Estell comes to PRCC after two years at Spring Hill College where he served as a graduate assistant while earning his Master's degree in Business Administration.
Estell attended Troy University from 2015-18. During his time with Troy, Estell served as a student manager as well as a Director of Operations intern.
Estell was on the staff when Troy made a magical run in the 2016-17 season, winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship and clinching a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Estell earned a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality, Sport and Tourism Management in 2018.
Before attending Troy, the Birmingham, Ala. native played two seasons of junior college basketball at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.
In high school, Estell was a standout basketball player helping Wenonah High School win back-to-back state championships in 2011 and 2012.
Estell is the Wildcat's second new addition this offseason after hiring former Arkansas State assistant Hayden Harkins.
The Wildcats' historic run was cut short by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, but Pearl River still had a season to remember.
Among the season's highlights, Pearl River's 28-0 record set a program-high, the Wildcats were the lone undefeated team in the NJCAA, PRCC was the first Mississippi school to earn the No. 1 seed in the NJCAA Tournament, the Wildcats claimed the MACJC championship and a second consecutive Region XXIII title, and the Wildcats were the first Mississippi school to qualify for the NJCAA Tournament with an unblemished record.
In addition to the student athletes' awards, Oney was named the MACJC, Region XXIII and NJCAA Coach of the Year.