Week 9: 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 9 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 9 winners are:

NCAA DI: Tony Pujol – University of North Alabama

Coach Pujol’s Lions took sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun with a pair of impressive wins over Jacksonville this week. Both teams had entered the series with conference best 3-1 records, but North Alabama was able to come away with a thrilling 82-81 overtime victory in the first game. In the next contest, the Lions jumped out to a 22-point halftime lead and cruised to a 76-54 victory. North Alabama is now 9-3 (5-1 ASUN) on the season, and has won five consecutive games. They will look to extend the winning streak when they face off against North Florida in a road series beginning on Friday. 

NCAA DII: Blake Flickner – Dallas Baptist University

Blake Flickner Coach Flickner guided Dallas Baptist to back-to-back one point wins over Midwestern State this week. On Friday, the 15th-ranked Patriots knocked down a three with just under 40 seconds remaining to take an 81-80 victory. The following day, Dallas Baptist trailed by one with just 0.3 seconds remaining, but miraculously scored the game-winning basket on an alley-oop off an inbounds pass as time expired. The 91-90 victory moved the Patriots to 9-1 (9-1 LSC) on the season. They will look for their sixth straight win when they take on UT Permian Basin on the road on Friday.

NCAA DIII: Bill Sall – Calvin University

Bill Sall Coach Sall led Calvin to their first three victories of the season this week. In their home opener on Tuesday, the Knights cruised to a 99-65 win over Alma. The following day, Calvin knocked down a game-winning three as time expired to take a stunning 75-74 victory over Olivet. To close out the week, the Knights defeated Alma again, this time by a score of 93-72 on the road. Calvin is now 3-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to Division I Eastern Michigan. The Knights are back in action on Friday when they face off against Trine. 

NAIA: Kyle Blankenship – LSU Shreveport

Kyle Blankenship Photo Coach Blankenship picked up a milestone win this week as his Pilots remained unbeaten on the season. No. 2 LSU Shreveport’s 96-65 defeat of the University of the Southwest marked the 200th victory in Coach Blankenship’s career. Currently in his ninth season at the helm, Blankenship has accrued an extremely impressive record of 200-70. This season, his squad is 11-0 (3-0 Red River). They have won 25 consecutive games dating back to last season, and are unbeaten in their last 33 home games. The Pilots return to the court on February 4th, when they take on No. 21 Texas A&M – Texarkana at home. 

JUCO: Jeff Reinert – College of Southern Idaho

Jeff Reinert The College of Southern Idaho, led by Coach Reinert, kicked off their season with two very different wins this week. On Friday, the 12th-ranked Golden Eagles took a dominant 105-38 victory over Community Christian College. The following day, however, they found themselves trailing Northeastern Junior College by 10 at the half. CSI was able to climb back into the game, and knocked down a game-winning layup just before the final buzzer to come away with a 68-67 win. The 2-0 Golden Eagles will look to build on this strong start when they take on Western Nebraska CC on the road on Thursday. 

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

Week 7

NCAA DI: Shaka Smart – University of Texas
NCAA DII: Dan Ficke – Belmont Abbey College (NC)
NCAA DIII: Reni Mason – Louisiana College
NAIA: Delano Thomas – Shawnee State University (OH)
JUCO: No week 7 winner awarded

Week 8

NCAA DI: Isaac Brown – Wichita State
NCAA DII: Bubba Smith – Lee University (TN)
NCAA DIII: Damion Jablonski – Whitworth University (WA)
NAIA: Chris Wright – Talladega College (AL)
JUCO: No week 7 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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