WEEK 1: HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Just Play Solutions

Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 1 HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Just Play Solutions. The 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 2018-19 college basketball season.

Last season’s weekly winners and Coach of the Year Recipients can be found below.

Nominations for next week’s award can be emailed to: [email protected].

The Week 1 winners are:

NCAA DI: Bob Richey – Furman UniversityBob Richey

Coach Richey’s Furman squad has been the biggest surprise in college basketball this season. The Paladins are 5-0, and have already knocked off half of last year’s Final Four. Last Friday, Furman defeated this past season’s Cinderella story – Loyola Chicago – on a game-winning dunk with 1.8 seconds remaining. The Paladins fought back from a 13-point deficit to defeat a team coming off a Final Four appearance for the first time since 1977. After an 88-86 overtime victory against Gardner-Webb and a 107-67 blowout of North Greenville, Coach Richey led his team into Philadelphia to take on the defending NCAA champions, 8th ranked Villanova. Furman came away with a thrilling 76-68 overtime win, resulting in their first 5-0 start since the 1987-88 season. #8 Villanova was the highest ranked team Furman has defeated since 1965. They will look to stay perfect against Southern Wesleyan at home on Wednesday.

NCAA DII: Ben McCollum – Northwest Missouri State University

2016-17 HoopDirt.com DII Coach of the Year Ben McCollum has led Northwest Missouri State to a stellar start to the season. The Bearcats opened the season by defeating both teams from the NCAA DII championship game last year. They beat last year’s runner up Northern State 82-80 in overtime last Saturday, then defending champion #13 Ferris State 100-86 the following day. After that, McCollum’s team won three straight blowout games to move to 5-0 on the season and take the #2 spot in the D2SIDA poll. The Bearcats will begin the MIAA Basketball Challenge on Monday against Illinois-Springfield.


NCAA DIII: Dale Wellman – Nebraska Wesleyan University Coach Dale Wellman head shot

Defending champion and #1 ranked Nebraska Wesleyan lived up to the preseason hype by starting the season 4-0 and looking explosive offensively. Coach Wellman’s squad broke the school record for most points in a half in the first half of t

he first regular season game they played this season. They scored 79 points in the first half on the way to a 143-90 defeat of Grinnell College, coming one point shy of tying the school record. The Prairie Wolves then beat Bethany Lutheran College 104-85 on the road before traveling to Waukesha, Wisconsin for the Carroll Classic. NWU defeated the host Carroll University 70-64 and then took a 77-67 victory over St. Norbert College to extend their winning streak to 17 games dating back to last season. The defending champs are back in action Friday against the University of Redlands.

NAIA: Aaron Coombs – Oklahoma Pan Handle State UniversityAaronCoombs

Coach Coombs’ Aggies have started the season 4-1 and come away with 3 straight 45+ point victories. After dropping the season opener, Oklahoma Pan Handle State then defeated Arlington Baptist University 87-65 to finish the McDonald’s Classic. The Aggies then headed home, where they defeated Union College-Nebraska by a score of 110-45. They followed up on this with 105-58 victory over Calvary University and a 102-44 defeat of Barclay College. Panhandle State will look to continue this stretch of dominance at home on Tuesday against Our Lady of the Lake University.


JUCO: Anthony Figueroa – Parkland CollegeAnthony Figueroa Headshot

It has been an extremely eventful beginning of the season for Coach Figueroa and his #15 Parkland College team, as they knocked off a top-25 opponent and completed a seemingly impossible comeback to start 5-0. The Cobras took two wins at the Greyhound Classic, including a 79-74 win over #19 Arkansas State Mid-South. Parkland then grabbed two more road victories over Lansing and Illinois Valley before traveling again to take on Lake Land CC on Saturday. Trailing by 20 points with 6 minutes remaining in the game, the Cobras went on a surreal 23-2 run, hitting a game winning three-pointer with 2.9 seconds left to take an 82-81 victory. They will try to ride this momentum against Indiana Elite Prep on Tuesday.

[Coach of the Week written and compiled by HoopDirt.com contributor AJ Nelson]

2017-18 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Fran Dunphy – Temple University
NCAA DII: Pryor Orser – Colorado School of Mines
NCAA DIII: Kevin Bettencourt – Endicott College (MA)
NAIA (co-winner): Wayne Wagner – Viterbo University (WI)
NAIA (co-winner): Matt O’Brien – Southwestern College (KS)
JUCO: Mark White – Tallahassee Community College

Week 2

NCAA DI: Porter Moser – Loyola University Chicago
NCAA DII: Andy Bronkema – Ferris State University (MI)
NCAA DIII: Justin Lunt – University of Puget Sound (WA)
NAIA: Keith Adkins – Life University (GA)
JUCO: Don Tuley – Seminole State College (OK)

Week 3

NCAA DI: Chris Mack – Xavier University
NCAA DII: Darrell Walker – Clark Atlanta University
NCAA DIII: Pat Juckem – University of Wisconsin-Osh Kosh
NAIA: R-Jay Barsh – Southeastern University (FL)
JUCO: Steve DeMeo – Northwest Florida State College

Week 4

NCAA DI: James Whitford – Ball State
NCAA DII: Adam Bohac – Southern Nazarene University (OK)
NCAA DIII: Hilliary Scott – Lynchburg College (VA)
NAIA: Vinay Patel – Oklahoma City University
JUCO: Tommy Guerin – Borough of Manhattan Community College

Week 5

NCAA DI: Steve Pikiell – Rutgers University
NCAA DII: Jeff Burkhamer – University of West Florida
NCAA DIII: Steve Howes – Catholic University (DC)
NAIA: Kyle Blankenship – Louisiana State University – Shreveport
JUCO: Hank Plona – Indian Hills Community College (IA)

Week 6

NCAA DI: Mike Young – Wofford College
NCAA DII: Bart Lundy – Queens University of Charlotte
NCAA DIII: Mike Schauer – Wheaton College (IL)
NAIA: Kelvin Starr – The Master’s University (CA)
JUCO: Evan Lavery – Rock Valley College (IL)

Week 7

NCAA DI: LaVall Jordan – Butler University
NCAA DII: Rodney Watson – University of Southern Indiana
NCAA DIII: Eric Bridgeland – Whitman College (WA)
NAIA: Jeff Sherman – Central Methodist University (MO)
JUCO: Brian Peabody – Pima Community College (AZ)

Week 8

NCAA DI: Tad Boyle – University of Colorado
NCAA DII: Jeff Boschee – Missouri Southern State University
NCAA DIII: Ron Rose – Illinois Wesleyan University
NAIA: Jesse Watkins – College of Coastal Georgia
JUCO: Chris Hackett – Frank Phillips College (TX)

Week 9

NCAA DI: Joe Mihalich – Hofstra University
NCAA DII: Lennie Acuff – University of Alabama Huntsville
NCAA DIII: Guy Rancourt – Lycoming College (PA)
NAIA: Paul Peck – Lindsey Wilson College (KY)
JUCO: Chris Lovell – Bossier Parrish Community College (LA)

Week 10

NCAA DI: Mike White – University of Florida
NCAA DII: Bob Pietrack – Fort Lewis College (CO)
NCAA DIII: Jeff Brown – Middlebury College (VT)
NAIA: Nelson Jones – Allen University (SC)
JUCO: Aaron Butcher – Ancilla College (IN)

Week 11

NCAA DI: Tony Bennett – University of Virginia
NCAA DII: Mike Helfer – Valdosta State (GA)
NCAA DIII: Mark Edwards – Washington University in Saint Louis
NAIA: Dante Calabria – Keiser University (FL)
JUCO: Paul Cisek – Brookdale Community College (NJ)

Week 12

NCAA DI: Mike Hopkins – University of Washington
NCAA DII: Josh Schertz – Lincoln Memorial University (TN)
NCAA DIII: Todd McGuinness – Case Western Reserve University (OH)
NAIA: Craig Doty – Graceland University (IA)
JUCO: Doug Scott – Quincy College (MA)

Week 13

NCAA DI: Chris Mullin – St. John’s University
NCAA DII: Lonn Reisman – Tarleton State University (TX)
NCAA DIII: David Hixon – Amherst College (MA)
NAIA: Tom Church – Indiana University Kokomo
JUCO: DaJuan Gouard – Danville Area Community College (IL)

Week 14

NCAA DI: Donte’ Jackson – Grambling State University
NCAA DII: Grady Brewer – Morehouse College (GA)
NCAA DIII: John Krikorian – Christopher Newport University (VA)
NAIA: Josh Gamblin – Mid-America Christian University (OK)
JUCO: Jared Phay – College of Southern Idaho

Week 15

NCAA DI: Ryan Ridder -Bethune-Cookman University
NCAA DII: Lonnie Blow, Jr. – Virginia State University
NCAA DIII: Josh Loeffler – Johns Hopkins University
NAIA: Kelly Wells – University of Pikeville (KY)
JUCO: Brent Wilson – Sullivan County CC (NY)

Week 16

NCAA DI: John Beilein – University of Michigan
NCAA DII: Patrick Beilein – Le Moyne College (NY)
NCAA DIII: Chuck McBreen – Ramapo College (NJ)
NAIA: Larry Cordaro – LSU Alexandria
JUCO: Terry Maczko – Baltimore City Community College

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

2017-18: Porter Moser – Loyola University Chicago
2016-17: Chris Collins – Northwestern University
2015-16: Roy Williams – University of North Carolina

Division II

2017-18: Andy Bronkema – Ferris State (MI)
2016-17: Ben McCollum – Northwest Missouri State
2015-16: Josh Schertz – Lincoln Memorial University (TN)

Division III

2017-18: Eric Bridgeland – Whitman College (WA)
2016-17: Stephen Brennan – Babson College (MA)
2015-16: John Tauer – University of St. Thomas (MN)

2017-18: Craig Doty – Graceland University (IA)
2016-17: Kevin Burton – Union College (KY)
2015-16: Larry Cordaro – LSU-Alexandria


2017-18: Paul Cisek – Brookdale Community College (NJ)
2016-17: Todd LorensenSouthwestern Community College (IA)
2015-16: Craig Doty – Rock Valley College (IL)

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About Just Play Solutions

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