Duane Elvis Estep is the new boys’ basketball coach for the Mingo County Miners.
Estep said he is excited about the challenge of building a new program from the ground up.
“I have many good friends in Mingo County and I have always enjoyed my trips into the area,” he said. “Mingo County athletes are always some of the best athletes in our great state. My grandparents' families were from this area and I feel at home here. My family is extremely excited about the move to Mingo County. My wife, Cristy has family in Gilbert and her mother lives a short distance away in Man."
His resume reads like a bestselling novel. After graduating from Marshall University, Estep began his employment in the United States Army from 1983-86 in electronic communications.
He then moved on to West Liberty State College as a library aide and weight room supervisor.
His coaching timeline is extensive beginning in 1987-1990 at West Liberty in academics and the football team. In 1990, Estep was the John Marshall High assistant coach for Class AAA state final four.
"Personally, I prefer to play an up-tempo style of basketball,” said Estep. “I like to run the break and play pressure defense. However, we will adjust our style to fit the type of athletes we have at the time. We want to run a system that allows our athletes to be as successful as they can be. I can't wait to evaluate our kids and get to work!"
In 1991, he was the Harts High and Jr. High County champs bringing home the summer Gold Medalist girls’ basketball champions. That same year, Estep made it to the state quarterfinals as the Chapmanville’ boys’ and girls’ tennis coach.
"During the late part of the season and sectionals I had a chance to come and watch the local teams in action,” said Estep. “I was excited to watch the great tournament run that Coach Fletcher and the Williamson Wolfpack put together. Coach Cline and his Gilbert Lions also made a great run into the regional finals. Both Burch and Matewan were very competitive this season as well.
“All four schools offer some very talented athletes with great potential. From inside play to the perimeter, there are some athletes that possess very good basketball skills. I look forward to meeting the boys, parents, and members of our Mingo Central communities."
From 1992-99 Estep remained coaching at Harts, winning the summer boys champion in 1996 as well as coaching the Team USA girls’ basketball in Holland in 1997.
Also in 1997 Estep won Sectional Champs and Regional runner-up. In 1998, he won the Cardinals Conference Champions, Sectional Champs and Regional runner-up.
From 1998 to present, Estep has won a slew of awards coaching. His last award came in 2010/11 when he was named Hamlin Middle School Football Coach, Hamlin Middle School Boys’ Basketball Coach and won the Gerald Prichard Cup winning the county tournament.
"I can't wait for the people of Mingo County to see the new high school,” Estep said. “What a great facility that offers so many new opportunities for not only our athletes, but all our students as well. Academics was a high priority in the design of the new building and the gym will be a showpiece not only for Mingo County, but the state. I am honored to be chosen to the first Miners basketball coach and a physical educator at the new school."
Besides bringing experience to the new school, Estep has a long list of awards.
Army Commendation Medal; two Army Achievement Medals; graduated third basic training class; Magna Cum Laude; Honors program; graduated eighth out of 400; Dean’s List every semester; Academic All-American; Outstanding College Students of America; Australia exchange student; Softball Coach of the Year 1999 and 2000; Coaches Sportsmanship of the Year 2000; State Tournament Girls Basketball 1990; State Tennis Tournament 1991; State Tournament Boys Basketball 2002 and 2003; West Virginia South All-Star Softball Head Coach 2003; Who’s Who Among American Teachers 2004; Director of statewide softball Coaches Poll 1999-2004; Ohio Valley Publishing Girls Basketball Coach of the Year 2005; Who’s Who Among American Teachers 2005-2006; 2007 undefeated football season; 2007/08 15-5 basketball season LCIT Champions; 2009 Softball Sectional Champs/Regional Finals; 2010 MSAC Softball Coach of the Year; and 2010 Softball Sectional Champions/Regional Finals.
Estep will also bring much experience to the softball program as head coach at Mingo Central.
"Softball is also a sport that I love to coach,” he exclaimed. “I am going to get out and see the local softball teams in action this spring and meet the parents and athletes. I have seen the plans for the new baseball and softball fields and I can't wait to see both those facilities become a reality. I am eager to lay the groundwork for Lady Miners’ softball."
"We have some challenging summer activities scheduled for the boys as well as some competitive events on the first schedule for our Miners basketball program. We will be taking the boys to the annual WVU Team Camp during the three week practice period in June. WVU is fresh off that NCAA tournament trip and ready to put on a great team camp for the boys.
I feel the boys will be excited about some competitive events we have on the schedule this coming season. We will be competing in the Coalfield Shootout at the Madison Civic Center on December 10 with teams from WV, Ohio and Kentucky. We will play in the Hoops Classic at the Charleston Civic Center. We will play Charleston Catholic on Saturday, December 17 at 5:15pm. We play in the Bob Runyon Tournament at Chapmanville on December 20 and 21 with Man, Pikeview, and the Tigers. We will host our own holiday tournament on December 27 and 28 with Mt. View, Riverview, and Tolsia. And we will of course host the annual Hatfield-McCoy Shootout in the Williamson Fieldhouse on Saturday, January 21. All great events with a high media profile and these events will allow our athletes to be seen throughout the state."