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 2017-18 college basketball season.
Nominations for next week’s award can be emailed to: [email protected] – please include a brief statement as to why the coach should be recognized as well as any other information that may be helpful.
The Week 1 winners are:
NCAA DI: Fran Dunphy, Temple University
Dunphy’s Owls kicked off the 2017-18 season with three straight wins along the way to capturing the title in the Gildan Charleston Classic. Opening the season with three games in four days at the tournament, Temple knocked off previously unbeaten Old Dominion 76-65 in game one on Thursday night. They then beat back-to-back power five opponents as they downed Auburn 88-74, and held off Clemson (4-0 entering the night) 67-60 in the title game. The perfect start to the season marks the first time in program history that Temple (3-0) has opened the season with three straight wins away from home. Next up for the Owls is Big 5 rival La Salle on the road Sunday night.
NCAA DII: Pryor Orser, Colorado School of Mines
Ninth-ranked Colorado School of Mines, led by Head Coach Pryor Orser, was victorious in one of the most thrilling games of the year en route to a 2-0 week. Down by 10 with 47 seconds remaining against Fort Hays State on Friday, the Orediggers mounted a furious comeback to force overtime, and would eventually come out with the 109-101 victory in double overtime. This win moved them to 3-0 on the season, and an 86-79 win against Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday continued their perfect start to the season. The Orediggers face off against Concordia University (NE) on Friday.
NCAA DIII: Kevin Bettencourt, Endicott College (MA)
Coach Bettencourt’s Endicott squad began the season by capturing the Babson Invitational with two impressive victories, first downing Regis College in the opening game, and then upsetting 7th ranked Babson College in the championship game. Led by sophomore Keith Brown, who averaged 41.5 points per game during the tournament, Endicott was able to upset the defending DIII National Champion Babson 90-80 to capture the crown. The victory over Babson marked the first time Endicott has ever beaten an opponent nationally ranked 7th or higher. The Gulls will look to continue their hot start this Sunday against Middlebury College.
NAIA (co-winner):Wayne Wagner, Viterbo University (WI)
Wagner and the V-Hawks capped off a 3-0 week with an impressive victory in the championship game of the Viterbo Invitational on Saturday. After defeating Brescia University 88-87 on a buzzer-beating three on Friday in the semifinals, Viterbo was able to take down 22nd ranked Bethel College (IN) to win the championship. This win marked the sixth straight victory for Viterbo, and resulted in the first loss of the season for Bethel (7-1). Viterbo will look to extend their win streak to seven as they face UW-La Crosse on Monday.
NAIA (co-winner): Matt O’Brien, Southwestern College (KS)
Coach O’Brien’s 13th ranked Southwestern College (KS) squad began conference play in the highly competitive KCAC with two victories this week, including a defeat of 16th ranked Tabor College. Southwestern opened the week by defeating visiting Tabor 81-76 on Wednesday before beating Sterling College 97-77 on Saturday. Southwestern’s 2-0 start in conference play moves them into a tie for first place, and pushes their overall record to 8-0 on the season. The Moundbuilders will try to reach nine straight wins as they play Bethel College (KS) on Tuesday.
JUCO: Mark White, Tallahassee Community College
White’s squad had an impressive 3-0 week as the 13th ranked team in the nation raised their record to 5-0. The Eagles began the week with two wins on the road – a 72-63 win at Albany Tech, and then a 73-70 buzzer beating win at Dayton State. White’s crew played their first game of the year at home on Saturday where they rolled St. Petersburg College 95-60. The Eagles are 5-0 for the second time in White’s three seasons as head coach and fourth time in five seasons overall. Tallahassee will return to play on Monday when they travel to Hillsborough Community College.
[Coach of the Week written and compiled by HoopDirt.com contributor AJ Nelson]
Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:
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