Week 14: 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 14 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 2019-20 college basketball season.

This is the fifth season that HoopDirt.com has run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. The previous 2019-20 weekly winners, and a list of all-time COY winners can be found following this weeks honorees.

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

The Week 14 winners are:

NCAA DI: Richie Riley – University of South Alabama

RileyRichie(1819)Coach Riley guided South Alabama to a pair of closely contested home victories this week, winning both games by a combined four points. On Thursday, the Jaguars trailed Louisiana by two with 42 seconds remaining before a four-point play put the home team ahead for good in a 78-75 triumph. South Alabama followed up this tight win with a game-winning shot in the final seconds to take down Louisiana-Monroe 50-49 on Saturday. With these two victories, the Jaguars moved to 16-11 (9-7 Sun Belt) on the season. They will look to pick up their fifth straight win on Thursday when they travel to take on Appalachian State. 

NCAA DII: Fred Watson – Miles College  (AL)

Fred Watson head shotWith two more impressive victories this week, Coach Watson’s Golden Bears have now won 10 straight games. Miles trailed Savannah State by one in the middle of the second half on Wednesday before holding the visitors scoreless for six minutes en route to a 65-56 victory. An 86-61 road win over Central State on Saturday gave the Golden Bears their first double-digit in-season winning streak since the 1973-74 season. Now 18-3 (13-2 SIAC) on the season, Miles hits the road again on Monday when they take on Kentucky State.  

NCAA DIII: Johnny Tauer – University of St. Thomas (MN)

Johnny TauerNo. 4 St. Thomas, led by Coach Tauer, picked up two hard-fought road wins this week, including one over a top-3 opponent, to improve to 21-2 on the season. The Tommies began their week on Wednesday with a 65-60 triumph at Bethel. They were back on the road on Saturday as they faced off against 2nd-ranked St. John’s. St. Thomas came away with a 71-66 victory, handing St. John’s their first loss in conference play and snapping their 22-game winning streak. The impressive win moved the Tommies to 17-1 in the MIAC and 1/2 game behind St. John’s in the conference standings. St. Thomas is back on the road on Wednesday, as they take on St. Olaf in their second to last contest of the season. 

NAIA: Kyle Blankenship – LSU Shreveport

Kyle Blankenship Photo Coach Blankenship’s squad set a program record this week as they took two more victories this week. On Thursday, the sixth-ranked Pilots defeated Our Lady of the Lake by a score of 120-83, setting the program record for consecutive home wins with 20 in a row dating back to last season. A 94-82 victory over Huston-Tillotson on Saturday extended the home winning streak to 21. The Pilots are now 23-3 (13-2 Red River) on the season, and have won eight straight contests. LSUS takes on Southeastern Bible College on Tuesday before a showdown with No. 8 LSU Alexandria on Saturday. 

JUCO: Randy Casey – Milwaukee Area Technical College

It was more of the same from Coach Casey’s Stormers this week, as two double-digit victories extended their winning streak to 20. No. 2 Milwaukee Area Tech knocked off Wilbur Wright in an offensive showdown on Wednesday, taking a 129-111 victory. A 100-84 triumph over Madison College on Saturday in their final home game of the season marked the Stormers’ 20th straight victory and pushed them to 27-1 on the season. Of their 27 wins this season, 23 have come by double-digits. MATC will look to continue their dominant play when they take on Bryant & Stratton on the road on Tuesday.

2019-20 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Walter McCarty – University of Evansville
NCAA DII: Mark Downey – Northeastern State (OK)
NCAA DIII: Josh Merkel – Randolph-Macon College (VA)
NAIA: Kelly Wells – University of Pikeville (KY)
JUCO: Kyle Cooper – Western Texas College

Week 2

NCAA DI: Tony Bennett – University of Virginia
NCAA DII: Tobin Anderson – St. Thomas Aquinas College (NY)
NCAA DIII: Bosko Djurickovic – Carthage College (WI)
NAIA: Stacy Hollowell – Loyola University (LA)
JUCO: Anthony Fletcher – Eastfield College (TX)

Week 3

NCAA DI: Juwan Howard – University of Michigan
NCAA DII: Matt Healing – Pace University (NY)
NCAA DIII: Keith Bunkenburg – Benedictine University (IL)
NAIA: Todd Lorensen – Mount Marty College (SD)
JUCO: Cole Dewey – Otero Junior College (CO)

Week 4

NCAA DI: LaVall Jordan – Butler University
NCAA DII: Mike Donnelly – Florida Southern College
NCAA DIII: Landry Kosmalski – Swarthmore College (NY)
NAIA: Tae Norwood – Keiser University (FL)
JUCO: Billy Gillispie – Ranger College (TX)

Week 5

NCAA DI: Ritchie McKay – Liberty University
NCAA DII: Tom Klusman – Rollins College (FL)
NCAA DIII: Dave Niland – Penn State-Behrand
NAIA: Aaron Siebenthall – Ottawa University (KS)
JUCO: Brennan McCarthy – Northampton Community College (PA)

Week 6

NCAA DI: Steve Forbes – East Tennessee State University
NCAA DII: Damien Blair – West Chester University (PA)
NCAA DIII: Anthony Medina – University of St. Thomas (TX)
NAIA: Colby Blaine – College of Idaho
JUCO: Terry Bowe – Lakeland Community College (OH)

Week 7

NCAA DI: Kelvin Sampson – University of Houston
NCAA DII: DII Winter Break Week – No Winner
NCAA DIII: Pete Moran – John Carroll University (OH)
NAIA: Matt Wilber – Dakota Wesleyan University
JUCO: Eric Murphy – Florida SouthWestern State University

Week 8

NCAA DI: Brian Dutcher – San Diego State University
NCAA DII: Kyle Gerdeman – Lindenwood University (MO)
NCAA DIII: Jeff Brown – Middlebury College (VT)
NAIA: Patrick Crarey – Washington Adventist University (MD)
JUCO: Luke Strege – Mineral Area College (MO)

Week 9

NCAA DI: Scott Drew – Baylor University
NCAA DII: Eric Olen – University of California, San Diego
NCAA DIII: Jim Calhoun – University of Saint Joseph (CT)
NAIA: Preston Ingram – Missouri Baptist University
JUCO: Zach Settembre – Tallahassee Community College (FL)

Week 10

NCAA DI: Nate Oats – University of Alabama
NCAA DII: Bart Lundy – Queens University of Charlotte
NCAA DIII: Jean Bain – Brandeis University (MA)
NAIA: Josh Gamblin – Mid-America Christian University
JUCO: Pat Smith – Moberly Area Community College

Week 11

NCAA DI: Anthony Grant – University of Dayton
NCAA DII: Matt Majkrzak – Northern Michigan University
NCAA DIII: Damien Strahorn Colby College (ME)
NAIA: Chris Briggs – Georgetown College (KY)
JUCO: Carl Howell – Skagit Valley College (WA)

Week 12

NCAA DI: Joe Gallo – Merrimack College
NCAA DII: Matt Brock – University of Illinois-Springfield
NCAA DIII: Elliot Steinmetz – Yeshiva University (NY)
NAIA: Alfred Williams – Xavier University of Louisiana
JUCO: Kevin O’Connor – Murray State College (OK)

Week 13

NCAA DI: David Cox – University of Rhode Island
NCAA DII: Mike Helfer – Valdosta State University (GA)
NCAA DIII: Matt Hunter – York College (PA)
NAIA: Austin Hunter – Lewis-Clark State (ID)
JUCO: Matthew St. Croix – Mohawk Valley Community College (NY)

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III




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