Two-time Brenda Reilly NEC Coach of the Year (2016-17, 2017-18)
Two NEC regular-season championships (2016-17, 2017-18)
NEC Tournament championship in 2017
Four NEC Tournament championships as an associate head and assistant coach (2007, 2008, 2014, 2016)
Two NEC regular-season championships as an associate head and assistant coach (2009-10, 2013-14)
In 2018-19, Charlie Buscaglia will enter his third season as head coach of the Robert Morris University women’s basketball team. Coach B, as he is respectfully called, is no stranger to the Colonials’ basketball program, however. The long-time assistant spent 13 seasons on the RMU coaching staff before taking over the head coaching role, and served as the associate head coach from 2008-09 to 2015-16.
“Charlie has been an integral part of the success of our program with increasing responsibilities over the years,” said RMU Director of Athletics Craig Coleman. “We are grateful that we will be able to maintain continuity in the program under Charlie’s leadership to ensure that we will have great success in years to come.”
Despite losing three important seniors, Coach B guided the Colonials to a school-record 25 wins in 2017-18, culminating in the program’s sixth Northeast Conference (NEC) regular-season championship and second Postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) berth. RMU finished the season at 25-8 overall and 16-2 in NEC play and tied the school record for out-of-league victories with seven. The Colonials also advanced to their fifth straight NEC Championship Game, despite playing in a new temporary facility at the North Athletic Complex while RMU’s newest home, the UPMC Events Center, is under construction.
Robert Morris established a new program standard for scoring defense by allowing just 54.1 points per game, which ranked eighth nationally. Coach B received his second straight Brenda Reilly NEC Coach of the Year award, becoming the third coach in league history to collect the plaudit in back-to-back seasons. Three players were named to All-NEC teams, led by Megan Smith’s First Team selection. Nneka Ezeigbo gained Second Team accolades, while Honoka Ikematsu – the program’s first player from Japan – was named to the Rookie Team.
Coach B continued the program’s recent run of success in his first season in charge as the Colonials advanced to their fifth NCAA Tournament following a 65-52 victory over Bryant in the NEC Championship Game and final contest at the Charles L. Sewall Center. Robert Morris entered the NEC Tournament as the number one seed after claiming the league regular-season title and finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 22-11 overall record and 14-4 mark in conference.
In addition to the team accolades, the Colonials brought home quite the haul in NEC awards. Buscaglia was named Brenda Reilly NEC Coach of the Year after posting the best record for a first-year head coach in program history, while Anna Niki Stamolamprou took home NEC Player of the Year honors. Megan Smith claimed a spot on the Third Team and Nneka Ezeigbo was named to the Rookie Team.
Buscaglia has always believed that recruiting is the lifeline of a program. After taking over as recruiting coordinator in 2003, he went in search of the best talent both near and far, connecting with athletes from not only all over the country, but all over the world.
“Most people assume you are a great recruiter when you sign great talent,” said Buscaglia. “What I have learned over my years as a coach, however, is that recruiting talent – along with a strong work ethic – is what separates one from the others. My mission will always be for my staff to bring in student-athletes that work hard on the court and in the classroom.”
Coach B’s rundown of All-NEC players is an impressive list of who’s who among the league’s stars. The all-star cavalcade began with the signing of Sugeiry Monsac in 2004. Monsac was the 2005 NEC Player of the Year who went on to play in the Israeli Division I League and was inducted into the RMU Athletics Hall of Fame. She was followed by a pair of 2006 All-NEC selections in Psyche Butler and Natasha Summerville.
His strong recruiting record received national recognition in 2006-07 when the RMU class was ranked as one of the Top 50 classes by the Adidas All-Star Report.
Buscaglia pulled off another recruiting coup when he signed University of Kentucky recruit Sade Logan in the 2006 class. Logan, who was a Top 20 player coming out of high school, earned NEC Player of the Year honors in 2009 and tied the NCAA Division I record for three-pointers with 126. Another 2006 recruit, Chinata Nesbit, was a two-time All-NEC First Team pick and was twice the NEC Tournament MVP.
Not as well known when she was recruited out of Monroe College, Angela Pace was a diamond in the rough, using her athleticism to become the only player in league history to earn both NEC Player of the Year and NEC Defensive Player of the Year.
More recently, Coach B’s recruiting tendrils have gone international with impressive results. Artemis Spanou, a native of Greece, was a two-time NEC Player of the Year and is the team’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. The first NEC Rookie of the Year in team history, she was quickly joined by Italian native Ashley Ravelli, who earned the plaudits in 2013.
The list doesn’t end there. Anna Niki Stamolamprou was an All-NEC Rookie Team selection in 2014 and All-NEC pick in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Stamolamprou is also a two-time NEC Tournament MVP after helping the Colonials collect league titles in 2016 and 2017. Megan Smith and Mikalah Mulrain continued the tradition of freshmen making an immediate impact, joining the growing list of All-Rookie Team selections at RMU in 2015. Nneka Ezeigbo later added her name to that wall with her All-Rookie Team selection in 2017, followed by Japanese guard Honoka Ikematsu’s Rookie Team nod in 2018.
Buscaglia came to Robert Morris from Manhattan College, the 2003 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champions and NCAA Tournament participant, where he was an assistant from 1998 to 2003. While at Manhattan, Buscaglia focused mainly on recruiting and developing the perimeter players. He signed Rosalee Mason, who averaged a double-double for the Lady Jaspers and finished her career as Manhattan’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. She is one of the many players Coach B has signed that has played professionally in Europe.
“The entire Robert Morris community continually strives to fulfill all the needs of its students and student-athletes, which is beneficial to building a winning tradition,” stated Buscaglia. “The university has given me tremendous support in my quest to recruit top student-athletes, which has helped RMU to build a tradition of not only being a Northeast Conference contender, but a nationally competitive program.”
Aside from recruiting, Buscaglia has helped run summer basketball camps and clinics at the University of Buffalo from 1994 to 1998, and was a camp coordinator at Manhattan during his tenure there.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Buscaglia graduated from Manhattan in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in general studies. Buscaglia and his wife, Roseline, currently reside in Moon Township, Pa, with their son, Saso.