WEEK 5: HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Just Play Solutions

Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 5  HoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Just Play Solutions. The 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 2017-18 college basketball season.

Past weekly and yearly winners can be found below this week’s recipients.

Nominations for next week’s award can be emailed to: [email protected].

The Week 5 winners are:

NCAA DI: Steve Pikiell – Rutgers University

PikiellCoach Pikiell’s Scarlet Knights finished the week with a 2-0 record, and took down a nationally ranked team for the first time since 2015. Rutgers defeated Fordham 75-63 on Tuesday, and then faced off against 15th ranked Seton Hall in the annual Garden State Hardwood Classic. Trailing by 10 at the half, the Scarlet Knights ended the game on a 17-2 run to take a thrilling victory in front of the largest crowd at the Rutgers Athletic Center since 2002. This marked the first time since 2013 that Rutgers won the Classic, and improved their record on the season to 10-3. They will look to stay hot on Friday in a match-up against Stony Brook.


NCAA DII: Jeff Burkhamer – University of West Florida

Jeff BurkhamerCoach Burkhamer’s West Florida squad went 2-0 this week, and set a school record in the process. The Argonauts defeated Spring Hill College 91-59, then defeated West Alabama 75-72 in a double overtime thriller. These victories pushed West Florida’s record to 10-0, a new program record for most consecutive wins to begin a season. West Florida reached #21 in the NABC poll this week, and also moved up to #13 – the highest the school has ever been ranked – in the D2SIDA poll. The Argonauts will look to improve on their stellar start against Montevallo on Monday.


NCAA DIII: Steve Howes – Catholic University (DC)

Steve HowesCatholic University played three extremely impressive games this week on the way to a 2-1 record. The Cardinals, led by Coach Steve Howes, held the lead against Division I University of Maryland for the majority of the first half before falling 76-59 in a very hard-fought game. Catholic then handily defeated Gallaudet University 91-64 before pulling out a 72-71 victory that included 17 lead changes against Gettysburg on Sunday. The Cardinals will look to extend their winning streak to three at the CUA-Holiday Inn Classic on the 29th.


NAIA: Kyle Blankenship – Louisiana State University – Shreveport

Kyle Blankenship ImageCoach Blankenship led 2nd ranked LSU Shreveport to a huge 3-0 week that included a win over a Division I opponent. The Pilots began the week by fighting back from a halftime deficit to defeat 14th ranked LSU Alexandria 93-89. They went on to put on an offensive display against Paul Quinn College in a 127-97 victory to improve their record to 12-1. LSU Shreveport then took down Division I Northwestern State 85-84 after rebounding from another halftime deficit at the Shreveport Bossier Holiday Classic. They are back in action on January 5th against Jarvis Christian College.


JUCO: Hank Plona – Indian Hills Community College (IA)

Hank PlonaCoach Plona’s 3rd ranked Indian Hills Community College Warriors continued their dominance this week on the way to a 3-0 record. On Tuesday, Indian Hills shot 17-33 from three en route to a 113-79 victory over Illinois Central. The Warriors next blew out Kankakee Community College 100-50 while shot 59% percent from the field. In their last game before Christmas break, Indian Hills beat 24th ranked Harcum College 104-86, improving their record to 13-0. The Warriors are back in action on the 28th against the College of Central Florida.


[Coach of the Week written and compiled by HoopDirt.com contributor AJ Nelson]

2017-18 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Fran Dunphy – Temple University
NCAA DII: Pryor Orser – Colorado School of Mines
NCAA DIII: Kevin Bettencourt – Endicott College (MA)
NAIA (co-winner): Wayne Wagner – Viterbo University (WI)
NAIA (co-winner): Matt O’Brien – Southwestern College (KS)
JUCO: Mark White – Tallahassee Community College

Week 2

NCAA DI: Porter Moser – Loyola University Chicago
NCAA DII: Andy Bronkema – Ferris State University (MI)
NCAA DIII: Justin Lunt – University of Puget Sound (WA)
NAIA: Keith Adkins – Life University (GA)
JUCO: Don Tuley – Seminole State College (OK)

Week 3

NCAA DI: Chris Mack – Xavier University
NCAA DII: Darrell Walker – Clark Atlanta University
NCAA DIII: Pat Juckem – University of Wisconsin-Osh Kosh
NAIA: R-Jay Barsh – Southeastern University (FL)
JUCO: Steve DeMeo – Northwest Florida State College

Week 4

NCAA DI: James Whitford – Ball State
NCAA DII: Adam Bohac – Southern Nazarene University (OK)
NCAA DIII: Hilliary Scott – Lynchburg College (VA)
NAIA: Vinay Patel – Oklahoma City University
JUCO: Tommy Guerin – Borough of Manhattan Community College

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

2016-17: Chris Collins – Northwestern University
2015-16: Roy Williams – University of North Carolina

Division II

2016-17: Ben McCollum – Northwest Missouri State
2015-16: Josh Schertz – Lincoln Memorial University (TN)

Division III

2016-17: Stephen Brennan – Babson College
2015-16: John Tauer – University of St. Thomas (MN)


2016-17: Kevin Burton – Union College (KY)
2015-16: Larry Cordaro – LSU-Alexandria


2016-17: Todd LorensenSouthwestern Community College (IA)
2015-16: Craig Doty – Rock Valley College (IA)

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About Just Play Solutions

Just Play Solutions is quickly becoming a market leader in helping coaches to prepare faster and teach athletes more effectively. From our digital coaching tools to interactive mobile app coaches can build playbooks, scouting reports, integrate video and even quiz players. Working with over 325 programs from high school to the professional levels, Just Play has a solution for any budget or need. Just Play currently has products available for Basketball, Football, Soccer, Hockey and Lacrosse.