NEWMAC Coach of the Year 2003-04, 2004-05, 2007-08, 2010-11 and 2012-13
Chris Bartley enters his 20th season as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2020-2021.
The Engineers made their 15th-consecutive NEWMAC semifinal and returned to the NEWMAC title game in 2018 after knocking off eventual national semifinalist Springfield in overtime. Chris Rodgers was selected as an All-NEWMAC first team honoree and also represented the Crimson and Gray on the NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship team, and was joined by Lou Doherty on the NEWMAC All-Academic team. Rodgers was later feted by the Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA).
The winningest coach in WPI history, Bartley has built WPI into one of the top NCAA Division III programs in the country. He has led the program to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, nine NEWMAC regular season championships, three NEWMAC conference tournament championships (2005, 2006 & 2013) and an ECAC championship (2012).
He took over the program in 2001 after WPI had lost 27 consecutive games, and in just his third season led WPI to a 20-win season and the school's first NEWMAC regular season title. WPI would go on to win 20 or more games for the next thirteen seasons -- a remarkable display of consistency. Coach Bartley owns a 316-95 (.769) overall record in the last 15 seasons, including a remarkable 146-44 (.768) in NEWMAC play. He has an overall mark of 328-121.
In addition to his five NEWMAC Coach of the Year selections, Bartley was named the Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year in 2013 when he led the program to a record 22 consecutive victories, NEWMAC regular season and NEWMAC tournament championships. WPI has been a fixture in the top 25 national rankings by D3hoops.com including as high as No. 2 in 2013 and No. 3 in 2014. The Crimson and Gray won NCAA Tournament contests in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Coach Bartley has developed some of the top performers in WPI and NEWMAC history. Ryan Cain won the prestigious Jostens Award in 2007 as the top Division III student-athlete in men’s basketball nationally. Cain also garnered All-American and All-New England accolades and was the NEWMAC Player of the Year in 2005 and 2007 and Rookie of the Year in 2004. He is the school’s all-time leading scorer. Other NEWMAC Players of the Year include Mike Prestileo in 2004, Antoine Coleman in 2008 and Jeff Robinson in 2011. Coleman and Robinson were All-American selections along with 2015 graduate Sam Longwell who is the fourth all-time scorer on the hill. Matt Carr was named an Academic All-America selection in 2011 and 2012 (first team).
Constructing quality programs has been a trademark for Bartley as all three colleges he has coached earned the Most Improved Team in New England Award from the New England Basketball Coaches Association within three years of his arrival (WPI 2004, Babson 2000 and Wentworth 1996). Previous to WPI, he played a major role in building programs at Babson and Wentworth. As the top assistant at both schools he helped lead them to NCAA and ECAC post-season tournament berths.
A graduate of UMass-Lowell, Bartley was a successful head coach at Medford High School from 1997-1999, posting an impressive 41-5 record and winning two Greater Boston League Championships. He earned recognition as the Boston Globe’s Division I Coach of the Year in 1998 when he led his team to the North Sectional title and trip to the Boston Garden for the State Semifinals.
Bartley and his program are involved in numerous community service projects including a long-time partnership with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization of Central Massachusetts. In April of 2008, Bartley received the Denise Nicoletti Trustees’ Award for Service to Community during the university’s annual Honors Convocation. Established in 2003, it is presented to a member of the faculty or staff in recognition of passion and action in serving the needs of community in Professor Nicoletti’s honor. In 2005 Coach Bartley and his team were honored with the Edwin B. Coghlin ’23 Award for Community Service by WPI.