Week 3: 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 3 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 3 winners are:

NCAA DI: Juwan Howard – University of Michigan

Juwan Howard

Coach Howard could not have hoped for a better start to his head coaching career. After winning four straight to begin the season, his Wolverines headed to the Battle 4 Atlantis to face off against some of the nation’s best competition. Michigan took down a tough Iowa State squad on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the tournament, setting up a match-up with No. 6 North Carolina. A 19-0 second half run propelled the Wolverines to a 73-64 Thanksgiving victory and a date with another top-10 opponent – No. 8 Gonzaga – in the championship game. Michigan stayed hot, building a double digit first half lead before holding off a Gonzaga run in the second half and coming up with one of their own to win 82-64. Now 7-0 to open the year, Michigan will try to take down another top-10 opponent, this time 2nd ranked Louisville on the road on Tuesday.

NCAA DII: Matt Healing – Pace University (NY)

Matthew Healing

Coach Healing has guided Pace to a 7-0 start, matching the program’s most wins ever to begin a season. This week, his squad trailed a conference showdown with New Haven by three at halftime before using a huge second half to come away with a 77-61 victory. A 69-61 win against Molloy on Sunday that saw Pace close the game on a 15-1 run kept the Setters unbeaten and tied them with the 1996-97 team for the program’s best start in history. They will look to set the record on Wednesday in a conference match-up against The College of Saint Rose.

NCAA DIII: Keith Bunkenburg – Benedictine University (IL)


Coach Bunkenburg picked up a win over a top-10 opponent and a milestone victory on the way to a 2-0 week. On Tuesday, Benedictine traveled to No. 9 North Central and held them just 28.3% from the field in a 56-49 triumph, moving the Eagles to 5-1 on the season. A dominant 93-63 victory on Saturday marked Coach Bunkenburg’s 400th career win. Already the winningest coach in program history, Bunkenburg, has led Benedictine to five straight wins, and has the Eagles sitting at 7-1. Their next match-up is at home against Edgewood on Wednesday.

NAIA: Todd Lorensen – Mount Marty College (SD)

Todd Lorensen Photo

In his first season at Mount Marty, Coach Lorensen has completely re-energized the program, as his Lancers are sitting at 10-2 and coming off two top-25 victories this week. On Monday, Mount Marty won an overtime thriller against then No. 16 Jamestown to improve to 3-1 in the GPAC. Last season, Mount Marty finished at 6-23 and only won two GPAC games all year. The Lancers next defeated No. 20 Saint Ambrose 93-90 on Saturday – their fourth straight win. Mount Marty is averaging 90.8 points per game so far, and will look to continue its historic start in another tough match-up on the road against 6th ranked Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday.

JUCO: Cole Dewey – Otero Junior College

Coach Cole Dewey

Coach Dewey’s squad has showed resiliency on the way to a 12-0 start – the best in program history. After driving 15 hours to the Williston State Thanksgiving Classic, the Rattlers came away with a hard-fought 74-73 victory over the hosts on Friday. Otero followed this up with a 95-81 win over Lake Region College to remain undefeated. The Rattlers are ranked 8th in the country, and will attempt to extend their record-breaking start tonight at Dawson.

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)

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III




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