Week 5: 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 5 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 5 winners are:

NCAA DI: Ritchie McKay – Liberty University

Coach McKay proved that his squad was the real deal this week with a road win over a power conference opponent. After 11 straight wins to begin the season, the Flames faced their toughest test to date – a road match-up with Vanderbilt on Saturday. Trailing by five at the half, Liberty fought back to take a 61-56 victory, becoming the first team in the country to 12 wins. The win marked the first time Liberty has ever won at an SEC arena, and the 12-0 start is the best in program history. The Flames will look to continue their historic start against Towson at the D.C. Holiday Hoops Fest Tournament on Friday.

NCAA DII: Tom Klusman – Rollins College

Tom KlusmanJust 10 days removed from a 30-point loss at home, Coach Klusman guided Rollins to a huge road win over the top-ranked team in the country this week. No. 1 Nova Southeastern entered Saturday’s match-up with Rollins at 6-0, leading the nation in points per game, field goal percentage, and rebounding margin. However, the Tars beat NSU in every category on the way to a shocking 86-85 victory that included a go-ahead jumper with three seconds remaining. The upset marked the third time Rollins has ever beaten the No. 1 team in the nation, with the last coming in 1988. Now 6-3 on the season, the Tars will carry this momentum with them to Las Vegas, as they are set to take on Drury in the Holiday Hoops Classic on Saturday.

NCAA DIII: Dave Niland – Penn State – Behrend

Dave Niland Coach Niland collected a milestone victory as Penn State – Behrend went 2-0 this week. A 76-60 win over Fredonia on Wednesday marked Niland’s 500th career victory in his 26th season with the Lions. He is the program’s all-time leader in wins, has produced 25 consecutive winning seasons, and has been named the AMCC Coach of the Year an astounding seven times. He picked up No. 501 with a 79-68 defeat of Mt. Aloysius on Saturday in a conference matchup to improve to 6-3 (4-1 AMCC) on the season. Penn State – Behrend is back in action December 30th in a road matchup against Waynesburg.

NAIA: Aaron Siebenthall – Ottawa University

Aaron Siebenthall Photo Coach Siebenthall’s Braves stayed hot this week, picking up two more conference victories to stretch their winning streak to five. No. 10 Ottawa first took down Tabor by a score of 98-86 on Wednesday before a road contest against York on Saturday afternoon. The Braves trailed by seven with 8:25 remaining the game, but closed out strongly to come away with a 77-71 victory. Ottawa is 13-1 (8-1 KCAC) on the season and currently in first place in the KCAC. They return to the court December 30th at Haskell.

JUCO: Brennan McCarthy – Northampton Community College

brennan Northampton won three more games and Coach McCarthy picked up career win No. 100 this week. The 8th ranked Spartans defeated Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology 75-70 on Tuesday before knocking off Broome 91-86 on Thursday. A 95-70 victory over Ocean County on Saturday marked the milestone for Coach McCarthy, who is in his sixth season with Northampton. He has compiled a record of 100-54 during his tenure with the Spartans. He will look for win No. 101 on January 11 at home against Valley Forge.

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)

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III




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