The Pingry community honored its longest-serving faculty member and coach on April 4, 2009. “Miller A. Bugliari ’52: A Half-Century Celebration of Excellence” paid tribute to Mr. Bugliari, who graduated from Pingry in 1952, joined the faculty in 1959, and became head coach of the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team in 1960.
For many years, Mr. Bugliari taught biology and chaired the science department at Pingry. He is internationally recognized for his soccer expertise, having guided his Pingry teams to 22 state and sectional championships, 22 Union County and Somerset County championships, and 18 undefeated regular or complete seasons. On September 27, 2008, he earned his 700th career victory; his current record is 714-89-55.
“Miller has an extraordinary win-loss record as a soccer coach. However, that is only a small aspect of what he means to Pingry. He has been a mentor, teacher, and friend to countless students and faculty members over his 50 years at the school. He is an icon and an embodiment of all of Pingry’s positive attributes. Pingry has been truly blessed by all he has done and continues to do for the school,” said Jack Brescher ’65, chair of Pingry’s Board of Trustees.
Almost 500 people paid tribute to Mr. Bugliari for his outstanding coaching and teaching, and for his inspiration to the Pingry community. The gathering included multiple generations of soccer players, parents of soccer players, Mr. Bugliari’s classmates, alumni who graduated earlier than 1952, current and former faculty members, and current and former members of the board.
In commenting on the evening, Headmaster Nat Conard said, “The number of people who returned to honor Coach Bugliari was dwarfed only by the number of people who wanted to attend, but could not. He has touched more lives of people who have passed through Pingry than anyone possibly could, and that is because he deeply cares about individuals.”
Among Mr. Bugliari’s other milestones, he has earned four “National Coach of the Year” awards, and he has been named “New Jersey State Coach of the Year” seven times. He is a member of Pingry’s Hall of Fame, the New Jersey Youth Hall of Fame, the National High School Federation Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and the New Jersey State High School Hall of Fame. He is a former President of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and received the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Award in 2000.