Synonymous with the all-time greats of collegiate basketball, solidified with an intangible resume, South Plains College men’s basketball head coach Steve Green added to his legacy Monday night as the Texans pummeled Clarendon College 90-71 at the Texan Dome, giving Green his 700th career win in his 28th season on the hardwood.
Green becomes just the 28th coach in NJCAA history to accomplish the feat, amassing an overall record of 700-193 to date, including a record of 546-150 in his 22 seasons in Levelland.
“I’ve had a lot of good players, a lot of good coaches, and work for a school that does everything they can to help us win,” Green said. “I like winning, hate losing, and always tried to help our assistants get jobs and help our players get scholarships. When this job came open, Joe Tubb gave me a chance, and Joe wanted to win. Gary McDainel was the President at the time, and he wanted to win and put a good team on the floor.”
Arriving in Levelland in 2000, Green wasted no time building his program, as he led the Texans to back-to-back conference and regional titles during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Eight years into his stint, Green would help South Plains win its first national title on the hardwood, as the Texans captured the 2008 NJCAA men’s basketball national championship.
Some four years later, the Texans would put themselves in elite company, becoming just the sixth team in NJCAA history to go wire to wire, winning the Western Junior College Athletic Conference, as well as the Region V title en route to a perfect 36-0 season, and the 2012 NJCAA men’s basketball national crown.
“Kelvin Sharp took over when Mr. McDaniel retired, and we just kept rolling,” Green said. “We were winning, people were coming to the games, and we got back to Hutch and finally won one in 2008. Then, all of a sudden, it was like we figured out the formula.”
South Plains would make its way back to the National Tournament during the 2018 season, playing as the No. 13 seed after defeating Odessa in the Region V title game. Green would lead the Texans on another historic run, ripping off five straight wins in Hutch, including a 98-95 victory over Southern Idaho in the national title game as Green became just the fourth coach in NJCAA to win three national championships at the NJCAA Div. I level.
“When Joe Tubb retired, Roger Reding came on board and we were able to get back to the National Tournament in 2018,” Green said. “We were able to win the regional tournament and make it back to Kansas, and we got hot and won the National Tournament. Anyone who has come on board and been part of our support system has really done everything they could to help us win.”
Prior to his arrival at SPC, Green held head coaching positions at Howard and Midland College. Making his head coaching debut in Big Spring in 1988, Green led the Hawks to two WJCAC titles, one regional championship, and an overall record of 81-19. Green would then move on to Midland, where he coached the Chaparrals from 1991-1994. Green would find success once again, leading Midland to a record of 73-24 over three years, winning one regional title, and led the Chaparrals to an eighth-place finish at the National Tournament.
Overall, Green has won 10 conference championships, nine region titles, has made 11 appearances at the National Tournament, and has won three national crowns.
“When Kelvin moved down the road, Robin Satterwhite came on board, and he has taken it another step,” Green said. “Robin always wants to know what he can do to help, and they trust us to do things the right way. Across campus, we have Stan DeMerritt and his office, and when we need something or need help, it is never no, but let us see what we can do to help. This has been a great place to work. If it wasn’t me, it would have been someone else. If you coach here for 22 years, you’re going to win a lot of games, unless you just screw it up.”
The Texans are once again looking to find their way back to Hutch again this season, and took another step towards that goal with a dominant win on Monday night. South Plains improved to 15-10 on the year and are currently second in the league standings with a record of 9-4.