By AJ Nelson, HoopDirt.com staff writer
Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 1 HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Just Play Solutions. These coaches are now eligible to receive the HoopDirt.com National Coach of the Year Award presented by Just Play Solutions which will be announced at the conclusion of the 2021-22 college basketball season.
This is the seventh season that HoopDirt.com has run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. The list of all-time COY winners can be found following this week’s honorees.
To nominate coaches for future weeks, please email [email protected] with your selection(s).
The Week 1 winners are:
NCAA DI: Gerald Gillion – Chicago State University
After inheriting a program that had lost 28 straight games dating back to December 2019, Coach Gillion has the Cougars off to an impressive 2-0 start to the 2021-22 season. Chicago State took a 77-72 victory over St. Thomas in the season opener on Tuesday to snap the losing streak before taking on SIUE on Friday. The Cougars came away with a 67-56 win, marking the first time since the 2014-15 season that Chicago State has beaten consecutive Division I opponents. Coach Gillion will look to extend the perfect start to his career when his squad travels across the city to take on Loyola Chicago on Tuesday.
NCAA DII: Jeff Brookman – Anderson University (SC)
Coach Brookman’s Trojans picked up a pair of huge victories this weekend to kick off their season on the right foot. AU hosted preseason No. 2 Flagler in their season opener on Friday, coming away with an 80-77 triumph in a back-and-forth battle. The Trojans were back in action the next day, finding themselves trailing Lander by 11 at the half. However, AU played a strong second half, leading by as many as 7 before a late Lander run forced overtime. The Trojans pulled away for good in the extra period, taking a 76-71 victory and improving to 2-0 on the season. They will try to continue their hot start on Wednesday, when they hit the road to take on No. 17 Lincoln Memorial in the SAC opener.
NCAA DIII: Rich Sutter – Westfield State University (MA)
Coach Sutter’s squad put on an offensive showcase at the Rick Martin/Hampton Inn Tournament this weekend, winning two games and improving to 4-0 on the season. The Owls defeated Northern Vermont – Lyndon by a score of 110-76 in the first game of the tournament on Friday. Taking on William Paterson in the championship game the following day, Westfield State trailed 43-31 at the half. The Owls then put together a massive second half, scoring 65 points in the period to pull away for a 96-79 victory. Looking for their fifth consecutive win to begin the season, Westfield State hosts Western New England on Tuesday night.
NAIA: Kurt Paulson – Carroll College (MT)
With a pair of impressive wins this week, Coach Paulson’s 10th-ranked Saints improved to a perfect 7-0 on the season. Carroll opened its week with a hard-fought 70-63 victory over Oklahoma City at the Montana Tech Classic on Friday, before facing off against No. 24 College of Idaho the following day. The Saints put on a stifling defensive performance, winning by a score of 59-51 and handing C of I its first loss of the season. Carroll returns home on Wednesday, when they put their unbeaten record on the line against Our Lady of the Lake.
JUCO: Jeremy Shulman – Eastern Florida State College
Coach Shulman’s squad picked up two incredible, last-second victories this week to remain unbeaten on the season. To begin their week, the 11th-ranked Titans found themselves trailing No. 4 Chipola by a point with 4.5 seconds remaining in overtime. EFSC guard Brody Boyer slipped while catching the inbounds pass, but recovered and knocked down a stunning buzzer-beater from a step inside half-court to secure a 73-71 win for his team. The Titans returned to action the next day, taking on the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota in what was another thriller. EFSC faced a 15-point deficit at halftime, but rallied back to tie the game late. Still locked in a tie game with one second remaining, Boyer knocked down another game-winner – this time a driving layup – to propel EFSC to victory. Now 4-0 on the season, the Titans will look to carry this momentum into a showdown against Spartanburg Methodist on Friday.
Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:
- 2020-21: Dennis Gates – Cleveland State University
- 2019-20: Joe Gallo – Merrimack College
- 2018-19: Kelvin Sampson – University of Houston
- 2017-18: Porter Moser – Loyola University Chicago
- 2016-17: Chris Collins – Northwestern University
- 2015-16: Roy Williams – University of North Carolina
- 2020-21: Ben McCollum – Northwest Missouri State
- 2019-20: Fred Watson – Miles College (AL)
- 2018-19: Ben McCollum – Northwest Missouri State
- 2017-18: Andy Bronkema – Ferris State (MI)
- 2016-17: Ben McCollum – Northwest Missouri State
- 2015-16: Josh Schertz – Lincoln Memorial University (TN)
- 2020-21: Brooks Miller – Trine University (IN)
- 2019-20: Elliot Steinmetz – Yeshiva University (NY)
- 2018-19: Dale Wellman – Nebraska Wesleyan University
- 2017-18: Eric Bridgeland – Whitman College (WA)
- 2016-17: Stephen Brennan – Babson College (MA)
- 2015-16: John Tauer – University of St. Thomas (MN)
- 2020-21: Delano Thomas – Shawnee State University (OH)
- 2019-20: Colby Blaine – College of Idaho
- 2018-19: Chris Briggs – Georgetown College (KY)
- 2017-18: Craig Doty – Graceland University (IA)
- 2016-17: Kevin Burton – Union College (KY)
- 2015-16: Larry Cordaro – LSU-Alexandria
- 2020-21: No winner named – COVID season
- 2019-20: Randy Casey – Milwaukee Area Technical College
- 2018-19: Billy Gillispie – Ranger College (TX)
- 2017-18: Paul Cisek – Brookdale Community College (NJ)
- 2016-17: Todd Lorensen – Southwestern Community College (IA)
- 2015-16: Craig Doty – Rock Valley College (IL)
- 2018-19: LeShawn Hammett – Penn State Wilkes-Barre
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