By AJ Nelson, WHoopDirt.com staff writer
Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 3 WHoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Pivot Analysis. These coaches are now eligible to receive the WHoopDirt.com National Coach of the Year Award presented by Pivot Analysis which will be announced at the conclusion of the 2020-21 college basketball season.
This is the second season that HoopDirt.com and Pivot Analysis have run the Coach of the Week and Coach of the Year programs. Last season’s weekly winners, and COY winners can be found following this weeks 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 3 winners are:
NCAA DI: Amy Vachon – University of Maine
Coach Vachon and her Maine squad picked up right where they left off last year, winning their first two games of the season this week. The Black Bears defeated Providence (Big East) 62-48 in their season opener on Thursday before staying in Rhode Island to take on URI (A-10) the next day. Maine came away with a 61-47 victory, moving to 2-0 on the new season and extending their winning streak to 12 dating back to last year. The Black Bears will look to stay hot when they take on Northeastern in their final non-conference match-up of the season on Sunday.
NCAA DII: Lora Westling – Western Colorado University
With two victories this week to improve to 3-0 on the season, Coach Westling’s Mountaineers are off to their best start since 1980. On Tuesday, Western Colorado shot 10-22 from three to defeat Fort Lewis 84-69. The Mountaineers were back in action on Saturday, as they faced off against MSU Denver. Western Colorado shot 2-20 from long range in the first three quarters and found themselves trailing 42-38 heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Mountaineers shot 7-9 from three in the final period and outscored their opponent 29-9 on the way to a 67-51 victory. Western Colorado takes on Air Force in an exhibition on Wednesday before returning to conference play on Friday.
NCAA DIII: Polly Thomason – University of Texas at Dallas
Coach Thomason picked up her 300th career victory as UT Dallas won three games this week. The Comets defeated Piedmont 70-66 in the opener of the Dardenne Memorial Classic on Wednesday, marking the milestone victory for Coach Thomason. Her squad then finished off the Classic with two blowout wins to move to 4-0 on the season. Now 302-115 in her 16-year career at UT Dallas, Coach Thomason will look to improve upon that mark when the Comets take on Howard Payne on January 2nd.
NAIA: Megan Leuzinger – Evangel University (MO)
Coach Leuzinger guided Evangel to a pair of closely contested road victories this week. The Crusaders closed out Thursday’s contest against Missouri Valley on a 9-2 run that propelled them to a 65-62 triumph. Evangel then used a key 9-0 run in the fourth quarter of their next matchup at Baker to take a hard-fought 74-68 victory. Now 5-1 on the season, the Crusaders will attempt to continue their strong play when they return home to take on Clarke on Tuesday.
JUCO: No week 3 winner awarded
2020-21 HoopDirt.com / Just Play Solutions Coach of the Week Winners
NCAA DI: Mike Carey – West Virginia University
NCAA DII: Nate Vogel – Texas A&M International University
NCAA DIII: No week 1 winner awarded
NAIA: Jessie Biggs – Indiana Institute of Technology
JUCO: No week 1 winner awarded
NCAA DI: Adia Barnes – University of Arizona
NCAA DII: Jason Williams – Belmont Abbey College (NC)
NCAA DIII: Blake Arbogast – East Texas Baptist University
NAIA: Krista Van Hauen – St. Ambrose University (IA)
JUCO: No week 1 winner awarded
2020-21 WHoopDirt.com / Pivot Analysis Coach of the Year Award Winners:
- 2019-20: Dawn Staley – University of South Carolina
- 2019-20: Molly Miller – Drury University (MO)
- 2019-20: Jill Pace – Tufts University (MA)
- 2019-20: Chris Nelson – Bethel University (TN)
- 2019-20: Cayla Petree – South Plains College (TX)
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