NEWBA Coach of the Year 2015-16
Cherise Galasso begins her 21st season in 2020-21 as Head Women's Basketball Coach, Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator at WPI. It is also her fifth year as president of the Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA).
The winningest coach in program history, Galasso’s team finished the 2015-16 season in record breaking style at 24-5 (13-3): tying the program record for wins, setting a new record for consecutive wins (18 in-a-row) and winning the school’s first ever NEWMAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship. For her efforts Galasso was named New England Women’s Basketball Association’s Coach of the Year.
In her tenure at WPI, Galasso has brought the Engineer program to new heights including post season appearances in the NCAA and ECAC Championships. In 2019-2020 Coach Galasso eclipsed 350 career wins with a victory vs. Williams College. Under her watchful eye, the program has posted double-digit win totals 17 consecutive years, including three (of six) 20-win seasons in as many years. Galasso’s teams captured NEWMAC regular season Championships (2007, 2009, 2018) and ECAC New England Tournament titles in (2007, 2009). She has helped guide WPI to conference championship games in 2007, 2010, and three consecutive appearances from 2016 to 2018.
One of the best teachers in the Northeast, Galasso is known for developing talent, including the 2018 NEWMAC Co-Athlete of the Year and two-time Defensive Player of the Year. 2018 grad Ama Biney won the prestigious NCAA Top 10 award and was a D3hoops.com All-Star. Coach Galasso’s players have earned All-Conference honors 24 times, featuring 12 first team selections, and she has produced eight 1,000 point scorers, most recently, Elle Fontaine ‘11 (1,195 points), Theresa Logan ’13 (1,010 points), Dani Davis ’15 (1,058) and Ama Biney '18 (1,298). Galasso’s recruits have excelled off the court as well. Boasting a 100% graduation rate, the WPI Women’s Basketball program has seen a team member earn CoSIDA Academic All-District I accolades four times, and five players earn Academic All-Conference honors in 2017, as well as three consecutive years from 2011 to 2013. Overall, the program has had players earn Academic All-Conference honors 52 times since Coach Galasso’s arrival in 2000.
A strong believer in giving back to the Worcester community, Coach Galasso’s teams’ have been mentors in the Big Brother/Big Sister organization since 2006. Team members donate their time once a week at an elementary school on the edge of the WPI campus spending time with their “Littles”, helping with homework, playing games, and acting as strong role models. The team also holds annual youth clinics at local elementary schools and participates annually in Relay for Life, The Giving Tree, as well as hosts the Central MA Special Olympics Championship.
On the WPI campus Galasso serves as the Senior Woman Administrator, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and teaches in the Department of Physical Education. She has served on numerous committees throughout campus as well as for the NEWMAC conference. She spent seven years on the ECAC Championships committee for women’s basketball and has been a WBCA Conference Captain.
Prior to her arrival at WPI, Galasso doubled as the Head Women's Basketball Coach and Head Women's Soccer Coach at Regis College during her three years there. She served as Assistant Athletic Director her first two years and was promoted to Associate AD in 1999, earning the Senior Women's Administrator title as well. Some of her administrative duties included budget management, team travel, contest management, pre-season, and summer camp coordination.
Galasso got her start as the top Assistant Women's Basketball Coach at the University of Rochester, her alma mater, from 1994 to 1997. While at Rochester, she was also the Assistant Director of Game Management, Admissions Liaison, and Director of the Varsity Weight Program.
Galasso graduated from the U of R with her bachelor of art's degree in psychology. She went on to matriculate at Nazareth College in Rochester, where she earned a master’s degree in education.
As an undergrad, Galasso was captain of both her basketball and soccer teams. In soccer as a senior, she was the UAA Conference Player of the Year as the Yellow jackets won their fourth straight conference title and made their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. Galasso won the NCAA Division III National Championship in women's soccer playing for the NCAA Coach of the Decade, Terry Gurnett.
Over the years, Galasso has directed many summer camps, including the Kara Wolters Basketball Camp, the Top of the Hoop Basketball Camp for girls and most recently, the highly regarded WPI Girls Basketball Camp and WPI Women’s Basketball Elite Camp.