Drew Sanders, Head Coach Email >>
Coach Sanders is entering his seventh season as the head coach of the New Mexico Junior College women’s basketball team. In 6 years Coach Sanders has been able to lead NMJC from three wins and last place in the conference to a conference championship, a co-conference championship, regional championship, and a fifth place finish in the national tournment which are all firsts for the program. Coach Sanders was named The Western Junior College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year and the District E Coach of the Year for the 2011-2012 season for the team's accomplishments. Coach Sanders combined record at NMJC is 112-72.
Sanders previously coached at Eastern Oklahoma State College. In his seven years at EOS, Sanders tallied a combined record of 145-70. He was recognized in 2001 as Regional Coach of the Year to go along with the team honor of reaching the NJCAA Final Four. His teams also captured two conference championships, and one regional championship. While at OES, Sanders recruited and coached ten Academic All-Americans, three NJCAA All-Americans, and one player earned the prestigious Kodak All-American honor. Coach Sanders began his career at the high school level in Oklahoma. He has a combined high school record of 340-169. His teams reached the Oklahoma State Tournament 7 times, including 2 State Championships and one State Runner-up. Coach Sanders was named Oklahoma Coach of the year in 1996 to go along with his 12 conference, ten Area, and three Regional Coach of the Year honors. Coach Sanders was inducted into the Oklalhoma Girls Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2011 for his accomplishments as a high school coach.
Coach Sanders earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree from Cameron University in 1979. He earned his Master of Education degree in Education/Administration at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1984.
Sanders and his wife Nedra have three daughters and seven grandchildren. Shawn, 33 and husband Steve have two of the seven. Payton, 13 and Lane 11. Kristin, 29 and husband Jeremiah have four of the seven: Braden,14, Abbe',11, Josiah,10 and Sawyer,3. Stefanie, 28 and husband RJ have one, Christopher, 3.
Coach Sanders has coached a total of 35 years, including 22 at the high school level and 13 at the junior college level.
High School Accomplishments
- High school career record of 340-169
- 2 State Championships
- 7 State Tournament appearances
- 1 State Runner-up
- Coached 11 All-State Selection Players
- 10 time All-Area Coach of the Year
- 12 time Conference Coach of the Year
- 3 time Regional Coach of the Year
- 1996 Oklahoma Coach of the Year
- Oklahoma Hall of Fame Game Coach
- Oklahoma All-State Game Coach
- Coached in 5 other All-Star Games
- 2012 Name to OGBCA Hall of Fame
Junior College Accomplishments
- Junior College Career Record of 257-142
- 1 National Final Four Finish
- 4 Conference Championships
- 2 Regional Championship
- Coached 10 Academic All-Americans
- Coached 4 NJCAA All-Americans
- Coached 1 Kodak All-American
- 2001 Regional Coach of the Year
- 2012 WJCAC Coach of the Year
- 2012 Region V Coach of the Year
Talby Justus, Assistant Coach Email >>
Entering his 3rd year as a member of the Lady Thunderbird coaching staff is Talby Justus. In his first year assisting with the women’s basketball program the Lady Thunderbirds set four new program records. In 2012 the Lady Thunderbirds went 32-5, won their first ever WJCAC Conference Championship, then went on to win one of the toughest Region tournaments in the Nation. Winning The Region 5 Tournament qualified them for the NJCAA Div. 1 National Tournament in Salina, KS. At the National Tournament, the Lady Thunderbirds went 3-1 and finished 5th in the country. All of these accomplishments were new benchmarks for the rising program. In 2013 the Lady Thunderbirds split the WJCAC Conference Title and went 23-5. Justus' combined record at NMJC is 55-10.
Prior to his move to the collegiate level, the Stillwater, Oklahoma native worked in the High School ranks most recently at Ripley High School. He built the girls program at Ripley into a respected program by going 68-18 the past three seasons with a trip to the Area Tournament and 2 conference championships. He spent three years previous at Glencoe High School where he led that program to the 1st State Championship in school history in 2006 and in 2007 led them to the State Runner-up. He finished his tenure at Glencoe with a record of 76-17 and led the state in points allowed per game for three straight years.
Justus was 1 of 4 Finalist's for Oklahoma's Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in 2006 and named by his peers the District II Basketball Coach of the Year in 2007. In 2006 Coach Justus was asked to coach in the Oklahoma All-Star Games. He was also named the Cimarron Valley Conference Coach of the Year on 4 different occasions.
Justus played four years of college basketball. He first attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College in Tonkawa, OK, then finished his collegiate career at Tabor College in Hillsboro, KS. During his tenure at Tabor he was named KCAC All-Conference and made an Elite Eight and Final Four appearance in the NAIA II National Tournament in 1996 and 1997. On May 15, 2010 Tabor College inducted the 1996-97 team into the Tabor College Hall of Fame.
During his high school career, at Pawnee, Justus played for his father, Harley Justus, who has coached in Oklahoma for more than 35 years. Coach Justus earned his Bachelor's Degree from Tabor College then in 2007 earned a Master's Degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Justus and his wife, Lori, are very proud of their three children Talby Jr., Holton, and Makenna. They attend church at Cowboy Junction Church in Hobbs, New Mexico.