MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When Glenn Caruso stepped away from the football program at Macalester College four years ago to take over at the University of St. Thomas, he had big aspirations for the team.
Whether or not he would actually get there was another story. Now in four years with the Tommies, he’s put together a 43-7 record and won two straight MIAC championships. He’s turned a program around in four years and made it relevant not only in the MIAC, but all across the nation.
For the second straight year, Caruso was named the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year for Division III for his success on the field and dedication to the St. Thomas community off it. Caruso was in New Orleans in the first week of January to accept the award and attended the BCS National Championship game, where Alabama beat LSU.
Caruso and his team didn’t ultimately get to their goal of a national championship this year. The Tommies lost in the national semifinals to UW-Whitewater, which won its second straight national title this year. But the level the program got to this year, under Caruso’s leadership, can’t be denied.
St. Thomas won 13 straight games this year, and the 13 wins were the most in the history of the program. That streak included a 63-7 win over rival St. John’s, the most lopsided win they’ve ever had in the history of the rivalry. It’s also the most points the Tommies have ever scored against St. John’s in one game.
The Tommies landed five players on the All-America list at the end of the season: Linebacker Tony Danna, receiver Fritz Waldvogel, center Curtis James, running back Colin Tobin and offensive tackle Dan Chapman.
Caruso became the youngest head coach to win the award last year at 36. Now he’s the only coach to win it two years in a row. He’s also won the MIAC Coach of the Year Award two straight years. The Tommies finished this year ranked No. 4 in the nation and won consecutive conference titles for the first time since 1948-49. St. Thomas also went 10-0 during the regular season in consecutive years for the first time in the program’s history.
All the awards, honors and records are great, but what Caruso and the players really want is a national title. They saw first-hand against UW-Whitewater what it will take to get there.