Week 7: 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 7 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 2020-21 college basketball season.

This is the sixth season that HoopDirt.com has run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. This season’s previous weekly winners, and a list of all-time COY winners can be found following this week’s honorees.

This season will be a bit different, however. As college basketball adjusts to life with COVID, so will we. Not every level will be honored on a weekly basis – we will honor as many of the levels as possible provided enough games are played. It’s different than in the past, but we still hope to have enough weekly winners at each level to name a Coach of the Year (NCAA DI, D2, D3, NAIA, and JUCO) at the end of the season

To nominate coaches for future weeks, please email [email protected] with your selection(s).

The Week 7 winners are:

NCAA DI: Shaka Smart – University of Texas

Shaka Smart head shot Coach Smart picked up his 100th win at Texas this week as the Longhorns continued their strong start to the season. Less than a week removed from a 25-point victory at No. 3 Kansas, 4th-ranked Texas defeated Iowa State by a score of 78-72 on Tuesday before traveling to take on No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday. Trailing by one with 1.8 seconds remaining, junior Andrew Jones nailed a corner three to give the Longhorns a thrilling 72-70 victory. With the win, Texas (10-1, 4-0 Big 12) matches its best overall start since the 2014-15 season and best start in conference play since the 2010-11 season. The Longhorns are back in action on Wednesday, as they host No. 15 Texas Tech.

NCAA DII: Dan Ficke – Belmont Abbey College

Dan Ficke Coach Ficke led his squad to two short notice victories this week, including one over a Division I opponent. On Friday, the Crusaders took down the Conference Carolinas preseason favorite Emmanuel, 87-85, in what was considered a non-conference matchup, as the game was scheduled just a day prior. Belmont Abbey then traveled to take on Division I Charlotte the following day, in a matchup that was also scheduled on Thursday. The Crusaders ended regulation on a 14-2 run to force overtime, and were then able to come away with a stunning 75-72 victory in the extra period. While the game was an exhibition for Belmont Abbey, it counted as a regular season contest for Charlotte. Now 2-0 on the season, Belmont Abbey is back on the road Monday afternoon for a rematch with Emmanuel.

NCAA DIII: Reni Mason – Louisiana College

Reni Mason Head Shot Coach Mason’s Wildcats kicked off their season with a pair of conference victories this week. Louisiana College led wire-to-wire in a 72-51 defeat of Howard Payne on Thursday before taking on Sul Ross State on Saturday. The Wildcats trailed by 10 with 14 minutes remaining before rallying to come away with a 79-72 victory. Now 2-0 on the season, LC will look to stay unbeaten when they take on Mary Hardin-Baylor in a road contest on Thursday.

NAIA: Delano Thomas – Shawnee State University

Delano Thomas Image With three more impressive conference victories this week, Coach Thomas’ Bears continued what has been a historic season so far. Shawnee State opened the week with an 81-57 win over Thomas More before hosting No. 6 Georgetown College. A game-winning three with 1.5 seconds remaining propelled the Bears to a 74-73 victory. Shawnee State then closed out the week with a 106-86 defeat of Campbellsville, which marked the first ever time that the Bears scored 100 or more points against a Mid-South Conference opponent. Now 12-2 (8-1 MSC) on the season, Shawnee State has matched the program’s best ever start, tying the 1988-89 squad’s record. The Bears have currently won eight straight contests, which sets a new program record for most wins in a row. They will look to extend this record when they take on Bethel on the road on Thursday.

JUCO: No week 7 winner awarded

2020-21 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Mark Few – Gonzaga University
NCAA DII: Jeff Horner – Truman State University (MO)
NCAA DIII: Clif Carroll – University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX)
NAIA: Greg Tonagel – Indiana Wesleyan University
JUCO: No week 1 winner awarded

Week 2

NCAA DI: Mike Magpayo – UC Riverside
NCAA DII: Brian Good – Wingate University (NC)
NCAA DIII: No week 2 winner awarded
NAIA: Dugan Lyne – Martin Methodist College (TN)
JUCO: No week 2 winner awarded

Week 3

NCAA DI: Lamont Paris – Tennessee Chattanooga
NCAA DII: Mike DeGeorge – Colorado Mesa University
NCAA DIII: Neal Young – Covenant College (GA)
NAIA: Chris Dial – Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)
JUCO: No week 3 winner awarded

Week 4

NCAA DI: Chris Collins – Northwestern University
NCAA DII: Chad Warner – Flagler College (FL)
NCAA DIII: No week 4 winner awarded
NAIA: Danny Neville – University of Jamestown (ND)
JUCO: No week 4 winner awarded

Week 5

NCAA DI: Bryan Mullins – Southern Illinois University
NCAA DII: No winner – mandatory DII winter break
NCAA DIII: No week 5 winner awarded
NAIA: Mark Svagera – Briar Cliff University (IA)
JUCO: No week 5 winner awarded

Week 6

NCAA DI: Frank Haith – University of Tulsa
NCAA DII: Vinay Patel – Northwestern Oklahoma State University
NCAA DIII: No week 6 winner awarded
NAIA: Will Shouse – Asbury University (KY)
JUCO: No week 6 winner awarded

Previous HoopDirt.com Coach of the Year Award Winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III




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About Just Play Solutions

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