Week 5: WHoopDirt.com Coach of the Week presented by Capital Elite Agency

By AJ Nelson, WHoopDirt.com staff writer

Congratulations to the following coaches who have been selected as the Week 5 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 2021-22 Coach of the Week winners, as well as 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 5 winners are:

NCAA DI: Nell Fortner – Georgia Tech

Nell Fortner - Women's Basketball - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Coach Fortner’s Yellow Jackets picked up a historic win this past week, knocking off perennial powerhouse UConn at home. Georgia Tech, carrying the momentum from a huge win at No. 20 Georgia the game prior, opened the fourth quarter on a 15-1 run and never looked back, coming away with a thrilling 57-44 victory over the 3rd-ranked team in the nation. The win snapped UConn’s 240-game winning streak against unranked opponents, and marked the first time Georgia Tech had beaten a top-three opponent since 2009. Back in action on Sunday, the Yellow Jackets put on another defensive clinic, holding Furman to just 36 points in a 63-36 triumph. Now 8-2 on the season, Georgia Tech’s huge week vaulted them to No. 18 in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll. The Yellow Jackets’ next contest comes on Sunday, when they host Wake Forest in the ACC opener.

NCAA DII: Emilee Thiesse – Minnesota State University, Mankato

Emilee Thiesse Coach Thiesse guided Minnesota State to a pair of conference wins on the road this past week, as the Mavericks remained perfect on the season. Minnesota State’s week began on Friday, with a matchup at Augustana. The Mavericks trailed by four entering the fourth quarter, but knocked down a free throw with five seconds remaining to force overtime, where they would eventually take a 91-86 victory. At Wayne State the following day, Minnesota State jumped out to a 17-4 lead after the first quarter on the way to a 63-52 triumph. The Mavericks entered the week ranked 25th in the D2SIDA Top 25 Poll, but jumped to No. 22 in the most recent edition. They will look to improve to 10-0 on the campaign when they host Sioux Falls on Friday.

NCAA DIII: Michelle Ferenz – Whitman College

WBK1516 HC-Ferenz 2nd-ranked Whitman College, led by Coach Ferenz, picked up three more wins this week to improve to 9-0 on the campaign. The Blues faced off against Whitworth on the road in their first game this week, outscoring the home team by 17 in the second half en route to a 76-59 victory. Whitman then hosted the Kim Evanger Raney Classic over the weekend, defeating Walla Walla 73-49 on Saturday before taking an 80-70 triumph over Colorado College the following day. The Blues will close out the semester at the Santa Cruz Classic, where they take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Sunday and UC Santa Cruz on Monday.

NAIA: Jesse Ford – Indiana University Northwest

Jesse Ford Photo Coach Ford’s IU Northwest squad took two hard-fought victories this past week, extending their winning streak to seven. The RedHawks trailed Aquinas by three at halftime on Tuesday, before outscoring the visitors 37-20 in the second half to come away with a 54-40 win. At IU South Bend on Saturday, the RedHawks played a back-and-forth contest, eventually heading home with a huge 74-70 conference victory. Now 9-3 (5-1 CCAC) on the campaign, IU Northwest hosts Olivet Nazarene in a conference matchup on Thursday evening.

JUCO: Marbely Montas – Union County College

Marbely Montas Coach Montas picked up her 100th career win this past week as Union County won a trio of contests. The milestone victory came in an 87-41 triumph over Essex County on Tuesday. In just her fifth year with Union County, Coach Montas became the quickest coach in program history to reach the 100-win mark. The 12th-ranked Owls returned to action on Thursday, defeating the County College of Morris by a score of 125-30. Union County led 42-6 after the first quarter, and 65-8 at halftime of the contest. The Owls closed out the week with a much tighter victory, taking down Harcum 69-65 to move to 9-0 on the season. After a loss to begin the current week, Union County is back in action on Thursday, when they travel to take on Mercer County Community College.

2021-22 HoopDirt.com / Capital Elite Agency Coach of the Week Winners

Week 1

NCAA DI: Anita Howard – Georgia Southern University
NCAA DII: Caleb and Nicole Neiman – Kentucky Wesleyan University
NCAA DIII: Courtney Burns – Mitchell College (CT)
NAIA: Janis Beal – The College of Idaho
JUCO: Mike Seney – CCBC Essex

Week 2

NCAA DI: Shereka Wright – Texas Arlington
NCAA DII: Steve Gomez – Lubbock Christian University (TX)
NCAA DIII: Dan Nagle – Nichols College (MA)
NAIA: David Smalley – University of Rio Grande (OH)
JUCO: Stephanie Murphy – Coahoma CC (MS)

Week 3

NCAA DI: Jose Fernandez – University of South Florida
NCAA DII: Steve Gomez – Carmen Dolfo – Western Washington University
NCAA DIII: Sasha Santimano – Bowdoin College
NAIA: Jeff Hans – Thomas More University
JUCO: Patrick Cunningham – Arizona Western College

Week 4

NCAA DI: Ty Grace – Howard University
NCAA DII: Carrie Eighmey – University of Nebraska at Kearney
NCAA DIII: Brian Morehouse – Hope College
NAIA: Bryon Lawhorn – Bryan College
JUCO: Jeremy Thompson – Monroe College-Bronx

All-time WHoopDirt.com Coach of the Year winners:

Division I

Division II

Division III



  • 2020-21: No winner named – COVID season
  • 2019-20: Cayla Petree – South Plains College (TX)

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