Week 15: HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week Presented by The Hoop Group

Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 15 HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by The Hoop Group. The coaches are now eligible to receive the HoopDirt.com National Coach of the Year Award presented by the Hoop Group which will be announced at the conclusion of the 2015-16 college basketball season. The complete list of past weekly winners can be found below this weeks recipients.

Nominations for next week’s award can be emailed to: Coach of the Week Nominations – 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 15 winners are:

NCAA DI: Chris Beard – University of Arkansas Little Rock.  beardA 2-0 week for Beard and his Trojans with wins over UT-Arlington (72-60) and Texas State (73-68).  With the victory over Texas State on Saturday, Little Rock (26-3, 16-2 SBC) clinched its first-ever outright regular-season Sun Belt Conference Championship and matched its program record for single-season wins.  Little Rock becomes the first team in the country to 26 wins in 2015-16, and currently boasts the best record in the nation at 26-3 (.897).  The Trojans also sport a perfect 13-0 record at home, and are now riding a five game winning streak.  

NCAA DII: Stan Spirou – Southern New Hampshire University.  spirouWhat a week for Spirou and the Penmen.  They opened the week on Tuesday by erasing a 15-point deficit to beat cross-town rival #21 St. Anselm 70-68 in double overtime in their regular season finale.  The Penmen then gave Spirou his 600th career victory on Friday as they downed American International in the first round of the NE-10 Tournament.  Finally, on Sunday they hit a 3 with 1.7 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime where they would eventually defeat Southern Connecticut 107-104.  Currently 20-10 (14-7), they will face a rematch with St. A’s in a semi-final match-up on Wednesday.

NCAA DIII: John Krikorian – Christopher Newport University (VA).   krikorianThe fifth-ranked Captains won two one-point games this week on their way to capturing the Capital Athletic Conference Championship.  They opened tournament play on Thursday by beating St. Mary’s (MD) 57-56 in a semi-final game.  In a wild ending to the CAC Championship game on Saturday, they made a free-throw with .4 left on the clock in over time to defeat #23 Salisbury 68-67.  The Captains, winners of 17 straight games, are now 26-1 (18-0), and have matched the CNU school record for wins in a single season. They will open up NCAA DIII Tournament play later this week.

NAIA: Vinay Patel – Oklahoma City University.  Vinay_PatelPatel led the Stars to a 2-0 week which included a victory over a top-3 team.  Currently ranked #25 in the nation (NAIA DI), OCU travelled to Texas Wesleyan on Thursday night, where they hit a putback with 1.5 seconds remaining to defeat the #3 Rams 74-73.  The win halted Texas Wesleyan’s 17-game winning streak –  a streak in which the past seven wins came by double-figure margins.  The Stars capped off their week by downing St. Gregory’s 75-62 in their regular season finale.  They have now locked up the #3 seed in the upcoming Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament which begins on March 2nd.  

JUCO: Thomas Gray – Southwest Mississippi CC.  xsmall_Head_Coach_Thomas_Gray_2The Bears won three games this week en route to their first state championship in 53 years.  They defeated Northwest Mississippi CC (16-8) on Monday in the quarterfinals 86-80. On Wednesday in the semi-finals, they scored with five seconds remaining to beat perennial NJCAA Region 23  powerhouse East Mississippi CC (18-7) 61-59 . Finally, Gray’s squad capped off their run through the tournament with a 94-83 overtime victory over Jones County Junior College (17-7) in the MACJC championship game on Thursday night.

Past Weekly Winners (click on week for full write-up):

Week 1

NCAA DI: Craig Neal – University New Mexico

NCAA DII: Stephen Joyner, Sr. – Johnson C. Smith University (NC)

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

NAIA: Larry Cordaro – LSU-Alexandria

JUCO: Craig Doty – Rock Valley College (IL)

Week 2:

NCAA DI: Jim Boeheim – Syracuse University

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

NCAA DIII: Andrew Sachs – Salisbury University (MD)

NAIA: Dave Holmquist– Biola University (CA)

JUCO: Charles Harral – Arizona Western College

Week 3

NCAA DI: Frank Martin – University of South Carolina

NCAA DII: Jim Crutchfield – West Liberty University (WVa)

NCAA DIII: Frank Marcinek – Susquehanna University (PA)

NAIA: Carson Cunningham – Carroll College (MT)

JUCO: Steve Eck – Hutchinson CC (KS)

Week 4

NCAA DI: Mike Lonergan – George Washington University

NCAA DII: R.C. Kehoe – Holy Family University (PA)

NCAA DIII: David Hixon – Amherst College (MA)

NAIA: Donnie Butcher – University of the Cumberlands (KY)

JUCO: Jim Morris – Iowa Western Community College

Week 5

NCAA DI: King Rice – Monmouth University

NCAA DII: Cinco Boone – Angelo State University (TX)

NCAA DIII: Grey Giovanine – Augustana College (IL)

NAIA: Carson Harris – Marian University (IN)

JUCO: Corey Symons – North Idaho College

Week 6

NCAA DI: Dan Majerle – Grand Canyon University

NCAA DII: Christmas holiday – not enough NCAA DII games played to justify the selection of a winner.

NCAA DIII: Greg Mitchell – Hope College (MI)

NAIA: Bill Czech – Hope International University (CA)

JUCO: Christmas holiday – not enough JUCO games played to justify the selection of a winner.

Week 7

NCAA DI: Fran McCaffery – University of Iowa

NCAA DII: Lonn Reisman – Tarleton State University (TX)

NCAA DIII: Joe Nesci – New York University

NAIA: Bob Burchard – Columbia College (MO)

JUCO: Steve Green – South Plains College (TX)

Week 8

NCAA DI: Bill Self – University of Kansas

NCAA DII: Josh Schertz – Lincoln Memorial University (TN)

NCAA DIII: John Baines – Elmhurst College (IL)

NAIA: Kelly Wells – University of Pikeville (KY)

JUCO: Steve DeMeo – Northwest Florida State

Week 9

NCAA DI: Brad Brownell – Clemson

NCAA DII: Nelson Haggerty – Midwestern State (TX)

NCAA DIII: Jeff Brown – Middlebury College (VT)

NAIA: Rollie Massimino – Keiser University (FL)

JUCO: Chris Hackett – Frank Phillips College (TX)

Week 10

NCAA DI: Roy Williams – North Carolina

NCAA DII: Luke Reigel – University of Wisconsin-Parkside

NCAA DIII: Joe Reilly – Wesleyan University (CT)

NAIA: Anthony Owens – University of Great Falls (MT)

JUCO: Philip Stitt – Marion Military Institute (AL)

Week 11

NCAA DI: Mike Davis – Texas Southern University

NCAA DII: Eric Olen – UC San Diego

NCAA DIII: Zach Filzen – Lancaster Bible (PA)

NAIA: Matt Brock – Missouri Baptist University

JUCO: Jared Phay – College of Southern Idaho

Week 12

NCAA DI: James Jones – Yale University

NCAA DII: Danny Sancomb – Wheeling Jesuit University (WVa)

NCAA DIII: Jamie Benton – Johnson & Wales (RI)

NAIA: Rocky Lamar – MidAmerica Nazarene University (KS)

JUCO: Matt Lee – Herkimer College (NY)

Week 13

NCAA DI: Steve Pikiell – Stony Brook University

NCAA DII: Jim Shaw – Western Oregon University

NCAA DIII: Keith Bunkenburg – Benedictine University (IL)

NAIA: Ryan Marks – University of St. Francis (IL)

JUCO: Billy Gillispie – Ranger College (TX)

Week 14

NCAA DI: Jon Coffman – IPFW

NCAA DII: Bob Pietrack – Fort Lewis College (CO)

NCAA DIII: Dan Englestad – Southern Vermont College

NAIA: Chad LaCross – University of Saint Francis (IN)

JUCO: Brent Wilson – Sullivan County CC (NY)

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