By AJ Nelson, WHoopDirt.com staff writer
Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 1 WHoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Capital Elite Agency. These coaches are now eligible to receive the WHoopDirt.com National Coach of the Year Award presented by Capital Elite Agency which will be announced at the conclusion of the 2021-22 college basketball season.
This is the third season that WHoopDirt.com has run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. The list of previous Coach of the Year winners can be found below this week’s recipients.
To nominate coaches for future weeks, please email [email protected] with your selection(s).
The Week 1 winners are:
NCAA DI: Anita Howard – Georgia Southern University
Coach Howard’s Eagles picked up their first two wins this week, including one over an SEC opponent on the road. Georgia Southern’s season-opening 68-66 win at Auburn on Thursday marked the first time since 2005 that the Eagles defeated an SEC foe. In the home opener on Saturday, Georgia Southern took down Fort Valley State, where Coach Howard played for three years, by a score of 99-71. The Eagles will look to move to 3-0 for the first time since the 1990-91 season when they face off against Florida International at home on Wednesday afternoon.
NCAA DII: Caleb and Nicole Neiman – Kentucky Wesleyan College
The Niemans led Kentucky Wesleyan to a pair of huge road wins to kick off the season this week. In their season opener, KWC used a big fourth quarter to pull away from Southwest Baptist for a 75-66 triumph. In their next contest the following day, the Panthers took on 2nd-ranked Drury. After falling behind by as many as 19 in the second quarter, Kentucky Wesleyan fought back and came away with a stunning 76-75 victory. Now 2-0 on the season, the Panthers are back in action on Tuesday when they take on Illinois-Springfield in their home opener.
NCAA DIII: Courtney Burns – Mitchell College (CT)
Coach Burns’ squad is off to its best start since becoming a Division III member, beginning the season 3-0. After taking down Wentworth in the season opener last week, Mitchell beat Dean 76-36 on Wednesday. The Mariners then hit the road for the first time this season, taking on UMass-Boston on Saturday. Mitchell trailed by three entering the fourth quarter, but outscored the hosts 28-11 in the period, eventually taking an 88-74 victory. The Mariners will put their perfect record on the line when they take on Smith at the Bowdoin Tip-Off Tournament on Friday night.
NAIA: Janis Beal – The College of Idaho
With three more wins coming in three consecutive days this week, Coach Beal has the College of Idaho off to the best start in program history. The Yotes began their week with an 87-77 win over La Verne on Thursday before taking on Westcliff the next night. C of I held the hosts to just six points in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where they came away with a hard-fought 52-51 victory. An 88-33 triumph over Bethesda on Saturday closed out the road trip and improved the Yotes to 5-0 on the season. They face off against Montana Western in their home opener on Friday.
JUCO: Mike Seney – CCBC Essex
No. 12 CCBC Essex, led by Coach Seney, continued steamrolling its competition this week, winning a pair of games by a combined 112 points. The Knights began the week on the road, taking down Delaware Technical Community College by a score of 91-41. CBCC Essex then hosted a game for the first time this season, blowing out Monroe 121-59 on Saturday. Through five contests, the Knights are unbeaten and have won every game by at least 29 points. They will look to stay hot when they take on Jamestown Community College at home on Saturday.
All-time WHoopDirt.com Coach of the Year winners:
- 2020-21:Steve Gomez – Lubbock Christian University (TX)
- 2019-20: Molly Miller – Drury University (MO)
- 2020-21: No winner named – COVID season
- 2019-20: Cayla Petree – South Plains College (TX)
Capital Elite Agency provides college basketball coaches in the country with counsel, advocacy, interview preparation, and contract negotiation. Our goal is to be a trusted agent and advisor for every step a college basketball coach takes throughout their professional journey. Visit us at www.capitaleliteagency.com to learn more about how we may be able to help you “Prepare to Advance” in your career.
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