Week 15: 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 15 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 15 winners are:

NCAA DI: Todd Simon – Southern Utah University

Todd Simon Coach Simon’s squad closed out the regular season with a pair of victories this past week, clinching its first ever Big Sky regular season title. The Thunderbirds entered the week needing a sweep of Portland State to claim the title, and did just that – winning 68-58 on Thursday and 73-54 on Saturday. Southern Utah finished the regular season with a record of 19-3 (12-2 Big Sky), setting a new program record for winning percentage (.864). The Thunderbirds now await the Big Sky Tournament, where they have received a first-round bye. They will face either Northern Colorado or Sacramento State on Thursday. 

NCAA DII: Brett Ballard – Washburn University

21_ballard_brett.JPG Coach Ballard guided Washburn to a dramatic MIAA Tournament Championship this week, earning the Ichabods a spot in the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Washburn kicked off the tournament by defeating Rogers State 78-59 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Ichabods then picked up a dominant 101-72 semifinal victory over Missouri Western State, earning the chance to play Northwest Missouri State – the No. 1 team in the country – in the championship game. Trailing by two after a pair of Northwest Missouri free throws with 2.7 seconds left, Washburn inbounded the ball to senior Tyler Geiman, who drained a 57-foot buzzer-beater for the championship. The MIAA Tournament Title was Washburn’s first since 2012. They will take on conference foe Missouri Western State in the NCAA Central Regional Quarterfinals on Saturday. 

NCAA DIII: Aaron Greiss – Augsburg University

Aaron Griess Coach Greiss picked up a milestone victory this week as Augsburg closed out its season on a high note. An 82-78 win over Gustavus Adolphus on Wednesday marked career victory No. 300 for Coach Greiss. With another win on Saturday, Greiss has now compiled a record of 301-233 (230-171 at Augsburg) in his 21 years as a Head Coach. The 75-71 triumph over Saint John’s on Saturday marked the end of the Auggies’ season. They completed the shortened campaign with a record of 4-3 (3-3 MIAC).

NAIA: John Henry – William Penn University

John Henry Photo Coach Henry led William Penn to its second consecutive Heart of America Tournament Championship this past week. After having handily defeated MidAmerica Nazarene and Park in the first two rounds of the tournament, the Statesmen – ranked 2nd in the country – took on No. 22 Benedictine in the championship game on Tuesday. William Penn (24-1, 18-1 Heart of America) out-rebounded Benedictine by 28 on the way to a 92-76 victory. The Statesmen now enter the NAIA National Tournament on a 13-game winning streak. They will face the winner of Mid-America Christian/Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon. 

JUCO (Co-Winner): Joseph Eatmon – Shelton State Community College

Joseph Eatmon With another pair of wins this week, Coach Eatmon’s squad remained unbeaten on the season. The 6th-ranked Bucs defeated Marion Military Institute 92-68 at home on Tuesday and 80-57 on the road on Friday. Now 14-0 on the season, Shelton State has won all but one game by double-digits. The Bucs will look to continue their hot play when they take on Snead State Community College in the home portion of a two-game series on Tuesday. 

JUCO (Co-Winner): Steve Green – South Plains College

Former Howard College basketball coach Green thrives at South Plains Texans passed their toughest test of the season so far this week, coming away victorious against a fellow top-three opponent. After taking a 103-75 victory over Frank Phillips on Monday, No. 1 South Plains hosted No. 3 Odessa in a clash of unbeaten squads. A last second three by Odessa forced the contest into overtime, where South Plains was able to pull out a 96-93 victory to improve to 11-0 on the season. The Texans will look for win No. 12 when they travel face off against Howard College on the road tonight. 

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)

Week 11

NCAA DI: Dennis Gates – Cleveland State
NCAA DII: Johnny Estelle – Texas A&M Kingsville
NCAA DIII: Brooks Miller – Trine University (IN)
NAIA: Josh Gamblin – Mid-America Christian (OK)
JUCO: Brandon Giles – Polk State College (FL)

Week 12

NCAA DI: Scott Davenport – Bellamine University
NCAA DII (Co-Winner): Todd Eisner – Winona State University (MN)
NCAA DII (Co-Winner): Mike Helfer – Valdosta University (GA)
NCAA DIII: Bill Fenlon – DePauw University (IN)
NAIA: John Teasley – Stillman College (AL)
JUCO: Pete Pena – Pensacola State College (FL)

Week 13

NCAA DI: Casey Alexander – Belmont University
NCAA DII: Tobin Anderson – St. Thomas Aquinas College (NY)
NCAA DIII: John VanderWal – Marietta College (OH)
NAIA: Justin Newton -Reinhardt University (GA)
JUCO (Co-Winner): Bryan Bender – Southwest Mississippi CC
JUCO (Co-Winner): Matt Ridge – Davidson-Davie CC (NC)

Week 14

NCAA DI: Mike Boynton – Oklahoma State
NCAA DII: Ben McCollum – Northwest Missouri State
NCAA DIII: Scott Coval – DeSales University (PA)
NAIA: Marcus “Chief” Bryant – Keiser University (FL)
JUCO: Chris Parker – Arkansas State Mid-South

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III




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About Just Play Solutions

Just Play Solutions has become the market leader in coaches’ workflow. A platform to help coaches prepare playbooks, automate scouting reports, research analytics, integrate and distribute video, manage recruiting workflow, and organize recruiting schedules. The end-to-end platform is used by over 700 customers across the country and internationally in football, basketball, and lacrosse.