In 2020-21, head coach Taffe Charles will be entering his second season leading the Carleton Ravens men’s basketball team after spending 12 seasons with the women’s basketball program.
The 2017-18 campaign will go down as the greatest season in Carleton women’s basketball history as Charles led the Ravens to a perfect 29-0 record, the OUA Critelli Cup championship and the Bronze Baby national championship.
The Ravens capped off their first undefeated regular season (23-0) in program history, leading the nation in regular season scoring defence in 2017-18 by holding opponents to 45.9 points per game.
After knocking off Ryerson (QF), Windsor (SF) and McMaster (championship) in the OUA conference playoffs, the Ravens entered the 2018 U SPORTS Final 8 Tournament in Regina with the No.1 seed. Carleton would defeat Calgary (QF), McGill (SF) and Saskatchewan in the title game to give Carleton its first Bronze Baby Trophy as national champions.
Charles received several individual honours in 2017-18, including the Pat O’Brien Award as Ravens’ Coach of the Year, the OUA Coach of the Year and the Peter Ennis Award as U SPORTS national coach of the year.
Charles is a former standout Ravens athlete who played for Carleton from 1990-1995. He scored 2,437 points for a 17.4 career average, third best all-time in the storied history of Carleton University basketball. Charles was named an OUA All-Star three times during his playing career – in 1993, 1994 and 1995.
He began his coaching career as an assistant with the Carleton women’s program in 1995 before moving over to the men’s program in 1998. He went on to win five U SPORTS national championships as an assistant coach under head coach Dave Smart before returning to the women’s program as head coach in 2007.
Since his return, the women’s program has made tremendous strides earning four U SPORTS Final 8 berths (2011, 2013, 2017 & 2018), four OUA East titles (2009, 2013, 2014 & 2018), one OUA North title (2016-17), two OUA Critelli Cup championships in 2016-17 and 2017-18 and one U SPORTS national championship (2017-18).
In 2009-2010, Charles was named the OUA East Coach of the Year after the Ravens finished atop the OUA East division and reached the OUA East final for the first time in the program’s history.
In 2012-13, the women held a top five spot in the CIS Top 10 for the entire season finishing with a record of 15-5 and clinching the OUA East title against cross town rival uOttawa (50-43) for the right to compete in the CIS Championship in Regina.
In 2016-17, Charles led the Ravens to the No.1 ranking in the country for the first time in program history on November 15, 2016.
The team completed the regular season with an 18-1 finish, the school’s top mark in its 45-year history, before advancing to the Critelli Cup title game where the Ravens would hoist the trophy for the very first time.
The Ravens made their third appearance at the U SPORTS Women’s Final 8, entering as the top-ranked side at tournament for the first time. Carleton knocked off host Victoria in the quarterfinal round for the program’s first-ever win at nationals.
Following a semifinal defeat to McGill, Carleton would go on to defeat Queen’s in the third-place game to earn the program’s first national medal, finishing the season with a 33-5 record against U SPORTS competition and becoming the first Ravens women’s basketball team to eclipse the 30-win mark in a season. For his team’s strong season, Charles was the recipient of the Pat O’Brien Award as Carleton’s Coach of the Year.
Taffe Charles coached Team Charles at the OUA Women’s Basketball All-Star Game in May 2018.