Keene, NH --- WPI's Cherise Galasso has been selected as the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) Coach of the Year announced on Tuesday following voting by the membership.
Galasso led WPI to a magical season in 2015-2016, guiding the Engineers to the NEWMAC Tournament championships with three victories the last week of February. The second-seeded Crimson and Gray began the tournament with a 54-47 triumph over Smith at home before heading to top-seeded Babson for the weekend and knocking off third-seeded Coast Guard 48-32 in the semifinals and the host Beavers 60-59 in the championship game.
The tournament crown helped the Engineers earn a spot in the NCAA for the first time in 20 years and just the third berth in program history. WPI finished with a record of 24-5, tying the school record for wins in a season, and also produced a program-best 180game winning streak that stretched from mid-November until mid-February. Success is nothing new to Galasso, who sports a 251-177 (.586) record in her 16 years at WPI and, including a 3-year stint at Regis, a 286-215 (.571) career mark.
Other major award winners include Player of the Year Shannon Brady of Bowdoin and Rookie of the Year Kara Holinski of MIT.
Also Tuesday it was announced that guard Yasmeen Luna (North Providence, RI) has been selected to play in the organization's senior all-star game. Luna started all 29 games this season at point guard and doled out 48 assists while averaging 5.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. The senior also anchored a defensive effort that limited opponents to 46 points per game, the third best out of over 400 NCAA Division III women's basketball programs nationwide, trailing just a pair of national semifinalists.
NEWBA provides support for coaches from the New England Region. Membership in NEWBA is open to all Division III head coaches from the region who have a vested interest in the welfare of the organization.