Week 16: 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 16 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 16 winners are:

NCAA DI: Keith Dambrot – Duquesne University

Keith DambrotWith a pair of hard-fought victories this week, Coach Dambrot’s Dukes reached the 20-win mark for the first time since 2009. Duquesne first took down St. Bonaventure 81-77 on the road in overtime on Wednesday, marking their first win at SBU since that same 2009 season. An 81-78 defeat of George Mason on Saturday improved Duquesne to 20-8 (10-6 A-10) on the season – just their third 20-win season in the past 48 years. The Dukes will face off against VCU in their final road contest of the regular season on Tuesday. 

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

Josh Schertz 17-18 Coach Schertz and Lincoln Memorial closed out the regular season with two more victories, extending the nation’s longest winning streak among all levels of NCAA men’s basketball to 29. The 2nd-ranked Railsplitters defeated Tusculum 83-65 on Wednesday and Anderson 75-55 on Saturday to move to 29-1 (22-0 SAC) heading into postseason play. Lincoln Memorial dropped their first contest of the season in overtime and have not lost since then. They have reached the 25-win mark in nine of the last ten seasons, and one of  just four Division II programs to have reached 20+ wins in 11-straight seasons. The Railsplitters take on Mars Hill at home in the SAC quarterfinals on Wednesday.

NCAA DIII: Shiva Senthil – SUNY Canton

Shiva Senthil In his first season at the helm of SUNY Canton, Coach Senthil guided his squad to the North Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Roos took down Husson 89-81 in the conference semifinals on Friday before facing off against NAC top-seed Maine-Farmington on Saturday. SUNY Canton was able to come away with an impressive 72-71 victory for their first NAC Championship in program history. The 16-11 (10-4 NAC) Roos will travel to Springfield College on Friday for the first round of the NCAA DIII National Tournament.

NAIA: Scott Sanderson – Faulkner University (AL)

Scott Sanderson ImageCoach Sanderson led Faulkner to a pair of closely-contested victories this week, clinching the SSAC regular season title and extending their winning streak to 17.  On Thursday, No. 8 Faulkner avenged their only conference loss of the season, defeating 4th-ranked Dalton State for the first time since 2016 by a score of 100-97. This victory secured the Eagles’ first SSAC regular season title for the first time since 2007. An 80-76 Senior Day victory over Martin Methodist on Saturday improved Faulkner to 26-3 (17-1 SSAC) as they head into postseason play. The Eagles await a first-round matchup in the SSAC Tournament on Thursday.

JUCO: Mike Smelkinson – Howard Community College (MD)

Smelkinson Coach Smelkinson’s Dragons finished the regular season on a high note, coming away with two impressive victories this week. No. 20 Howard trailed Montgomery by one at the half on Tuesday before using a big second half to pull away for a 100-90 road triumph. In their final regular season contest on Friday, the Dragons faced off against No. 7 Cecil. Howard dominated wire to wire in a 111-85 victory, improving their record to 22-6 heading into postseason play. In his first season back at Howard after leaving for Harford CC in 2014, Coach Smelkinson has led the Dragons to more wins this season than the previous four seasons combined. His squad will now prepare for the Region 20 Tournament, which kicks off on Friday.

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)

Week 14

NCAA DI: Richie Riley – University of South Alabama
NCAA DII: Fred Watson – Miles College (AL)
NCAA DIII: Johnny Tauer – University of St. Thomas (MN)
NAIA: Kyle Blankenship – LSU Shreveport
JUCO: Randy Casey – Milwaukee Area Technical College

Week 15

NCAA DI: Mark Pope Brigham Young University
NCAA DII: David Balza – Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL)
NCAA DIII: Greg Dunne – SUNY Brockport
NAIA: Adam Hiatt Montana Tech
JUCO: Chris Lovell – Bossier Parrish Community College (LA)

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III




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