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 2021-22 college basketball season.

This is the seventh season that HoopDirt.com has run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. The list 2021-22 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 16 winners are:

NCAA DI: Randy Bennett – Saint Mary’s College

Randy Bennett headshot Coach Bennett’s squad closed out the regular season on a high note, securing the first undefeated season at home in program history by defeating top-ranked Gonzaga this past week. The then-23rd ranked Gaels opened the week at San Diego, putting on a stifling defensive performance in a 60-46 triumph on Thursday before heading into Saturday’s regular season finale against Gonzaga. Saint Mary’s jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead, and was able to hold off a late comeback attempt by the Zags to come away with a 67-57 victory and finish the regular season a perfect 16-0 at home. Gonzaga was held to just 36.7% from the field in the contest- their lowest mark of the season. With the victories, the Gaels concluded the regular season with a record of 24-6 (12-3 WCC) and moved up to No. 19 in the latest AP Top 25 Poll. As the 2-seed in the WCC Tournament, they now await an opponent for their semifinal matchup on Monday, March 7th.

NCAA DII: Jim Crutchfield – Nova Southeastern University

Crutchfield With two more road victories this past week, Coach Crutchfield has guided the top-ranked Sharks to the first perfect regular season in Sunshine State Conference history. Nova Southeastern had all five starters score in double digits in Wednesday’s 96-66 victory at Lynn, before taking down Embry-Riddle by a score of 94-85 in Saturday’s regular season finale. The Sharks closed out the regular season with a record of 25-0 (20-0 SSC), winning 20 of those contests by double digits. The perfect regular season marks the second of Coach Crutchfield’s career, as he also accomplished the feat with his 2010-11 West Liberty squad. Nova Southeastern enters the SSC Tournament as the 1-seed, and will host 8th-seeded Florida Tech at 7PM this evening.

NCAA DIII: Brock Erickson – Nichols College

Brock Erickson In his first season at the helm, Coach Erickson has guided Nichols to the CCC Tournament Championship and a National Tournament berth. The No. 1 seed in the CCC, Nichols took down 9th-seeded Wentworth by a score of 93-86 in Tuesday’s quarterfinal. Back in action on Thursday, the Bison were able to fight back after trailing Suffolk by as many as 13 early in the second half to take a thrilling 87-86 victory and advance to the championship game. Nichols was able to come away with a 60-55 victory over 2nd-seeded Salve Regina, securing a berth in the National Tournament. The 25-3 (15-3 CCC) Bison enter the Tournament on a five-game winning streak, and will face off against RPI in the first round on Friday.

NAIA: Kevin Burton – Union College (KY)

Kevin Burton Photo Coach Burton and his Union squad won three tightly-contested games at the AAC Tournament this past week to pick up their ninth consecutive Tournament Championship. The top-seeded Bulldogs found themselves trailing No. 9 seed Point by eight at the half of Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup, but rallied back to force overtime, where sophomore Deonte Douglas drilled a buzzer-beating three to lift Union to an 85-82 victory. Returning to action the next day, Union again trailed at the half – this time by just one to Truett-McConnell, but again was able to come away with a win (64-61). The victory set up a matchup with 2nd-seeded Montreat in the Championship game on Saturday. The Bulldogs were down by one at the half again, but took an 84-79 triumph to capture the title. Over the last nine seasons, Coach Burton’s teams have gone 28-0 in the AAC Tournament. This year’s squad will find out who they play in the NAIA Tournament’s Opening Round at 8PM on Thursday.

JUCO: Chris Neely – Monroe College – Bronx

ChrisNeelyHeadshot Coach Neely’s squad notched a number of milestones on the way to the Region 15 Tournament Championship this week. Entering the Tournament as the 2-seed for the first time in program history, the Express held 7th-seeded Bronx Community College to just 26.9% from the field in Tuesday’s 76-44 quarterfinal win. The victory gave Monroe its first 20-win season in program history. Back in action on Saturday, the Express outscored Nassau Community College 40-23 in the second half to pick up a 67-54 victory and advance to the Region 15 Championship for the first time. In the Championship game on Sunday, Monroe again utilized a big second half to come away with a 54-49 triumph over Hostos Community College and earn their first-ever berth in the NJCAA DIII National Tournament. The 22-9 (11-5) Express will find out their first round opponent on Wednesday afternoon.

2021-22 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Gerald Gillion – Chicago State University
NCAA DII: Jeff Brookman – Anderson University
NCAA DIII: Rich Sutter – Westfield State University
NAIA: Kurt Paulson – Carroll College
JUCO: Jeremy Shulman – Eastern Florida State College

Week 2

NCAA DI: Lamont Paris – Chattanooga
NCAA DII: Bart Lundy – Queens University of Charlotte
NCAA DIII: Chris Carideo – Widener University
NAIA: Chris Wright – Talladega College
JUCO: Allen Sharpe – Wallace State Community College

Week 3

NCAA DI: T.J. Otzelberger – Iowa State
NCAA DII: Todd Duncan – Lubbock Christian University
NCAA DIII: Jeff Brown – Middlebury College
NAIA: Tigh Compton – University of Pikeville
JUCO: Hank Plona – Indian Hills Community College

Week 4

NCAA DI: Ed Cooley – Providence College
NCAA DII: Greg Clink – Cal State Chico
NCAA DIII: Tim Fusina – Waynesburg University
NAIA: Stacy Hollowell – Loyola University New Orleans
JUCO: Kyle Taylor – Salt Lake Community College

Week 5

NCAA DI: Kevin Willard – Seton Hall University
NCAA DII: Jason Taylor – Newberry College
NCAA DIII: Scott Coval – DeSales University
NAIA: Alfred Williams – Xavier University of Louisiana
JUCO: Jake Williams – Dodge City Community College

Week 6

NCAA DI: Speedy Claxton – Hofstra University
NCAA DII: Justin Weick – University of Minnesota Duluth
NCAA DIII: Raul Placeres – Maryville College
NAIA: Brandon Espinosa – Paul Quinn College
JUCO: Bill Beilein – Niagara County CC

Week 7

NCAA DI: Jerry Stackhouse – Vanderbilt University
NCAA DII: D2 winter break – no games played
NCAA DIII: Jimmy Smith – Trinity College (TX)
NAIA: Not enough games played (winter break + COVID cancellations)
JUCO: Not enough games played (winter break + COVID cancellations)

Week 8

NCAA DI: Scott Drew – Baylor University
NCAA DII: Shawn Walker – Elizabeth City State University
NCAA DIII: Ron Rose – Illinois Wesleyan University
NAIA: Colby Blaine – The College of Idaho
JUCO: Brandon Giles – Polk State College

Week 9

NCAA DI: Jim Larrañaga – University of Miami
NCAA DII: Vinay Patel – Northwestern Oklahoma State University
NCAA DIII: Todd McGuinness – Case Western Reserve University
NAIA: Lance Von Vogt – William Jessup University
JUCO: Greg Heiar – Northwest Florida State College

Week 10

NCAA DI: Dana Altman – University of Oregon
NCAA DII: Craig Doty – Emporia State University
NCAA DIII: Pat Juckem – Washington University in St. Louis
NAIA: Preston Ingram – Missouri Baptist University
JUCO: Bill Morosco – Garden City CC

Week 11

NCAA DI: Chris Victor – Seattle University
NCAA DII: George Suggs – McKendree University
NCAA DIII: Ryan Mee – Vassar College
NAIA: Matt O’Brien – Southwestern College
JUCO: Victor Correa – Suffolk County CC

Week 12

NCAA DI: Bruce Pearl – Auburn University
NCAA DII: Bob Pietrack – Fort Lewis College
NCAA DIII: Don Friday – Penn State Harrisburg
NAIA: Kyle Blankenship – LSU Shreveport
JUCO: Mike Hunter – Lakeland CC

Week 13

NCAA DI: LeVelle Moton – North Carolina Central University
NCAA DII: Matt Healing – Pace University
NCAA DIII: Brian Baptiste – UMass Dartmouth
NAIA: Stan Holt – Presentation College
JUCO: Brennan McCarthy – Northampton CC

Week 14

NCAA DI: Matt McMahon – Murray State
NCAA DII: Clark Sheehy – Southwest Baptist University
NCAA DIII: Brandon Linton – Tufts University
NAIA: Donnie Bostwick – Oklahoma Wesleyan University
JUCO: Brent Wilson – SUNY Sullivan

Week 15

NCAA DI: Mark Adams – Texas Tech
NCAA DII: Tobin Anderson – St. Thomas Aquinas
NCAA DIII: Abe Woldeslassie – Macalester College
NAIA: Javier Heridia – Indiana University Northwest
JUCO: Ryan Miley – Hocking College

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III



  • 2020-21: No winner named – COVID season
  • 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


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About Just Play Solutions

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