WEEK 14: HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Just Play Solutions

Story: Adam Nelson (@HD_DirtKing)

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 2023-24 college basketball season.

This is the ninth season that HoopDirt.com has run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. The list of 2023-24 Coach of the Week winners, as well as 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 14 winners are:

D1: Grant Billmeier – NJIT

Weekly record (overall): 2-0 (7-15)

Past week’s results: 63-61 W vs Vermont, 71-64 W vs UMass Lowell

Highlights: A great week for first-year head coach Grant Billmeier and NJIT, as they knocked off the top two teams in the America East in the span of 48 hours. On Thursday, they put an end to the nation’s longest conference winning streak (23 games), by beating Vermont 63-61. The first-place Catamounts had not lost an AE tilt in nearly 400 days. The Highlanders had another tough task on Saturday, as the America East’s 2nd place team UMass Lowell came to town. NJIT went on an early 16-0 run in that one, and never looked back as the beat the River Hawks 71-64. Billmeier’s squad has now won three out of four and two in a row for the second time this season.

NCAA D2: Tom Brown – West Texas A&M

Weekly record (overall): 2-0 (22-1)

Past week’s results: 76-69 W at UT Permian Basin, 94-90 OT W at Angelo State

Highlights: Another undefeated week for the top ranked D2 team in the nation. West Texas opened up on Thursday at UT Permian Basin, where they shot 50% from the field, and 50% from 3 on their way to a 76-69 win. On Saturday, the Buffs erased a 10-point halftime lead and defeated Angelo State in overtime 94-90 to notch their 22nd win of the season. WTAMU is also on a 19-game winning streak, and remain a perfect 16-0 in Lone Star Conference play.

NCAA D3: Don Friday – Penn State Harrisburg

Weekly record (overall): 2-0 (21-3)

Past week’s results: 72-57 W vs Penn St. Abington, 73-52 W vs St. Mary’s (MD)

Highlights: With two more impressive wins last week, Penn State Harrisburg has clinched home court advantage for the Volt Division side of the upcoming United East Championship Tournament. In Wednesday’s game vs Penn State Abington, Friday’s team took a 40-15 advantage at the break en route to a 72-57 win. Saturday’s 73-52 win over St. Mary’s (MD) was the 10th in a row for PSU Harrisburg, who has not lost a game in the new year. Harrisburg is now 11-0 in the United East, and 11-0 at home on the season.

NAIA: Marcus “Chief” Bryant – Keiser University

Weekly record (overall): 2-0 (16-6)

Past week’s results: 78-76 W vs Southeastern, 87-70 W at #24 Ave Maria

Highlights: Bryant’s Seahawks withstood a furious comeback by Southeastern on Wednesday to hold on for an important 78-76 Sun Conference victory. Keiser then went on the road Saturday and pounded NAIA #24 Ave Maria 87-70. The Seahawks held Ave Maria’s second-best scoring offense in the NAIA to just 70 points on the afternoon, 24 points below their average. Bryant’s squad is now 3-0 this season vs ranked teams.

JUCO: Mike Smelkinson – Howard Community College

Weekly record (overall): 2-0 (21-5)

Past week’s results: 88-59 W at Frederick, 79-54 W at Garrett

Highlights: Two more dominant wins for Smelkinson and the Dragons as Howard extended their 8-game win streak and cracked the 20-win plateau for the fourth straight season. Howard, who is sitting in first place in NJCAA D2 Region 20, won both of their match-ups last week by an average of 27 points. What’s most impressive about this season for Howard, is that they have played all of their games on the road as their new facility is not ready for games yet.

2023-24 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Mark Byington – James Madison University
NCAA DII: Alfred Jordan – Clark Atlanta University
NCAA DIII: Caleb Kimbrough – Hampden-Sydney College
NAIA: Darnell Archey – University of Mobile
JUCO: Kris Baumann – Odessa College

Week 2

NCAA DI: Ritchie McKay – Liberty University
NCAA DII: Mark Kuntz – Post University
NCAA DIII: Eric Bridgeland – University of Redlands
NAIA: Dannton Jackson – Talladega College
JUCO: Dillon Hargrove – National Park College

Week 3

NCAA DI: David Ragland – Evansville University
NCAA DII: Jordan Fee – Gannon University
NCAA DIII: Anthony Medina – University of St. Thomas (TX)
NAIA: Chase Teichmann – Florida College
JUCO: Hayden Sowers – South Plains College

Week 4

NCAA DI: Damon Stoudamire – Georgia Tech
NCAA DII: John Ellenwood – Ashland University
NCAA DIII: Brandon Linton – Tufts University
NAIA: Matt O’Brien – Southwestern College
JUCO: Darren Stratton – Northern Essex CC

Week 5

NCAA DI: Bryce Drew – Grand Canyon University
NCAA DII: Bob Pietrack – Fort Lewis College
NCAA DIII: Michael McSloy – Drew University
NAIA: Tigh Compton – University of Pikeville
JUCO: Terrell Harris – Prince George’s CC

Week 6

NCAA DI: Danny Sprinkle – Utah State University
NCAA DII: Artis Mattox – Benedict College
NCAA DIII: Dave Macedo – Virginia Wesleyan University
NAIA: Chris Wright – Langston University
JUCO: Joey Cantens – Daytona State College

Week 7

NCAA DI: Christmas Holiday – no winner selected
NCAA DII: Christmas Holiday – no winner selected
NCAA DIII: Christmas Holiday – no winner selected
NAIA: Christmas Holiday – no winner selected
JUCO: Christmas Holiday – no winner selected

Week 8

NCAA DI: Shaka Smart – Marquette University
NCAA DII: Bryan Rooney – Cal State East Bay
NCAA DIII: Todd McGuinness – Case Western Reserve University
NAIA: Scott Moore – Grace College
JUCO: Steve DeMeo – Northwest Florida State College

Week 9

NCAA DI: Shaheen Holloway – Seton Hall University
NCAA DII: Matt Majkrzak – Northern Michigan University
NCAA DIII: Jimmy Smith – Trinity College (TX)
NAIA: Josh Pickens – Lawrence Tech
JUCO: Matt Lee – Herkimer College

Week 10

NCAA DI: Darian DeVries – Drake University
NCAA DII: Dave Moore – University of West Georgia
NCAA DIII: D.P. Harris – Saint Vincent College
NAIA: Dee Brown – Roosevelt University
JUCO: Ryan Miley – Hocking College

Week 11

NCAA DI: Amir Abdur-Rahim – University of South Florida
NCAA DII: Mike Nestor – Lock Haven University
NCAA DIII: Dave Klatsky – NYU
NAIA: Robert Ford – Saint Xavier University
JUCO: Donnie Tyndall – Chipola College

Week 12

NCAA DI: Lamont Paris – University of South Carolina
NCAA DII: Vinay Patel – Angelo State University
NCAA DIII: Matt Hunter – York College (PA)
NAIA: Josh Gamblin – Mid-America Christian University
JUCO: Nick Ramos – Rock Valley College

Week 13

NCAA DI: Alan Huss – High Point
NCAA DII: Justin Wieck – Minnesota Duluth
NCAA DIII: Josh Merkel – Randolph-Macon College
NAIA: Delton Deal – Southwestern Assemblies of God University
JUCO: Robert Byrd – Kilgore College

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III



  • 2022-23Rick Cabrera – Tallahassee Community College
  • 2021-22Greg Heiar – Northwest Florida State
  • 2020-21: COVID Season – No winner selected
  • 2019-20: Randy Casey – Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • 2018-19: Billy Gillispie – Ranger College
  • 2017-18: Paul Cisek – Brookdale Community College
  • 2016-17: Todd Lorensen – Southwestern Community College
  • 2015-16: Craig Doty – Rock Valley College