Week 11: HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Just Play Solutions

By AJ Nelson, HoopDirt.com staff writer

Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 11 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 2020-21 college basketball season.

This is the sixth season that HoopDirt.com has run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. This season’s previous weekly winners, and a list of all-time COY winners can be found following this week’s honorees.

This season will be a bit different, however. As college basketball adjusts to life with COVID, so will we. Not every level will be honored on a weekly basis – we will honor as many of the levels as possible provided enough games are played. It’s different than in the past, but we still hope to have enough weekly winners at each level to name a Coach of the Year (NCAA DI, D2, D3, NAIA, and JUCO) at the end of the season

To nominate coaches for future weeks, please email [email protected] with your selection(s).

The Week 11 winners are:

NCAA DI: Dennis Gates – Cleveland State University

Dennis Gates Coach Gates’ Vikings were able to sweep another series this week, maintaining their position atop the Horizon League standings. Cleveland State took down Oakland on the road twice over the weekend – winning by scores of 80-72 on Friday and 80-78 on Saturday. With the victories, the Vikings moved to 14-5 (14-2 Horizon) on the season. The 14 Horizon League victories are the most in program history, and the Vikings still have four regular season conference games remaining on their schedule. Cleveland State will look for their seventh series sweep of the season when they take on Detroit Mercy in a two game set beginning on Friday.

NCAA DII: Johnny Estelle – Texas A&M University – Kingsville

Johnny Estelle Headshot Coach Estelle led Texas A&M – Kingsville to a pair of thrilling victories over a fellow top-25 opponent this week. The 14th-ranked Javelinas trailed No. 25 St. Edward’s by as many as 27 points in the first half before launching a massive comeback to take a shocking 86-83 victory on the road on Thursday. In the rematch on Saturday, TAMUK fell behind by as many as 10 points, but drained four clutch free throws late to secure an 83-82 win. The Javelinas are now 13-1 on the season and have won 11 consecutive games – both tying program records. They will attempt to make school history on Friday, when they face off against Texas A&M – Commerce on the road.

NCAA DIII: Brooks Miller – Trine University (IN)

Brooks Miller With two more impressive victories this past week, Coach Miller’s squad remained unbeaten on the season. The 6th-ranked Thunder dominated both halves for a 91-52 triumph over Hope on Wednesday before traveling to face off against No. 8 Albion on Friday. Trine was able to jump out to an eight point halftime lead and come away with a 76-70 victory, handing the hosts their first loss of the 2020-21 campaign. Now 9-0 on the season, the Thunder begin conference play on Tuesday, when they take on Kalamazoo in a road contest.

NAIA: Josh Gamblin – Mid-America Christian University (OK)

Josh Gamblin Despite missing several key players, Coach Gamblin was able to lead Mid-America Christian to a pair of hard-fought road wins this week. On Thursday, the Evangels trailed Southwestern Christian by 17 points with just over 10 minutes remaining, but rallied to close the game on a 32-13 run and come away with a stunning 75-73 victory. MACU utilized another big second half in their next contest, scoring 56 points in the period to take an 84-78 victory over Oklahoma City. The Evangels are now 7-2 (3-1 SAC) on the season. They will look to extend their winning streak to four when they take on USAO on Tuesday.

JUCO: Brandon Giles – Polk State College (FL)

Brandon Giles Coach Giles guided Polk State to two closely-contested victories this week, including one involving a last second game-winner. The Eagles first defeated Daytona State by a score of 77-75 on Wednesday before hitting the road to square off against Santa Fe. Polk State trailed by 10 at the half, but fought back and knocked down a floater with 0.7 seconds remaining to complete the comeback and take a 64-63 victory. After dropping their season opener, the Eagles have now won three straight contests. They are back in action on Wednesday, when they match up against Hillsborough Community College at home.

2020-21 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Mark Few – Gonzaga University
NCAA DII: Jeff Horner – Truman State University (MO)
NCAA DIII: Clif Carroll – University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX)
NAIA: Greg Tonagel – Indiana Wesleyan University
JUCO: No week 1 winner awarded

Week 2

NCAA DI: Mike Magpayo – UC Riverside
NCAA DII: Brian Good – Wingate University (NC)
NCAA DIII: No week 2 winner awarded
NAIA: Dugan Lyne – Martin Methodist College (TN)
JUCO: No week 2 winner awarded

Week 3

NCAA DI: Lamont Paris – Tennessee Chattanooga
NCAA DII: Mike DeGeorge – Colorado Mesa University
NCAA DIII: Neal Young – Covenant College (GA)
NAIA: Chris Dial – Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)
JUCO: No week 3 winner awarded

Week 4

NCAA DI: Chris Collins – Northwestern University
NCAA DII: Chad Warner – Flagler College (FL)
NCAA DIII: No week 4 winner awarded
NAIA: Danny Neville – University of Jamestown (ND)
JUCO: No week 4 winner awarded

Week 5

NCAA DI: Bryan Mullins – Southern Illinois University
NCAA DII: No winner – mandatory DII winter break
NCAA DIII: No week 5 winner awarded
NAIA: Mark Svagera – Briar Cliff University (IA)
JUCO: No week 5 winner awarded

Week 6

NCAA DI: Frank Haith – University of Tulsa
NCAA DII: Vinay Patel – Northwestern Oklahoma State University
NCAA DIII: No week 6 winner awarded
NAIA: Will Shouse – Asbury University (KY)
JUCO: No week 6 winner awarded

Week 7

NCAA DI: Shaka Smart – University of Texas
NCAA DII: Dan Ficke – Belmont Abbey College (NC)
NCAA DIII: Reni Mason – Louisiana College
NAIA: Delano Thomas – Shawnee State University (OH)
JUCO: No week 7 winner awarded

Week 8

NCAA DI: Isaac Brown – Wichita State
NCAA DII: Bubba Smith – Lee University (TN)
NCAA DIII: Damion Jablonski – Whitworth University (WA)
NAIA: Chris Wright – Talladega College (AL)
JUCO: No week 7 winner awarded

Week 9

NCAA DI: Tony Pujol – University of North Alabama
NCAA DII: Blake Flickner – Dallas Baptist University
NCAA DIII: Bill Sall – Calvin University (MI)
NAIA: Kyle Blankenship – LSU Shreveport
JUCO: Jeff Reinert – College of Southern Idaho

Week 10

NCAA DI: Lon Kruger – University of Oklahoma
NCAA DII: Kelvin Jefferson – Gannon University (PA)
NCAA DIII: Clay Nunley – Roanoke University (VA)
NAIA: Ryan Wall – Texas A&M – Texarkana
JUCO: Luke Strege – Mineral Area College (MO)

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III




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