Glenn Caruso can be contacted via e-mail at: email@example.com.
Glenn Caruso was named the 29th head coach in the 109-year history of University of St. Thomas football on Jan. 24, 2008. He took over a team that finished 2-8 the previous year and led the Tommies to a 7-3 record in his inaugural season. He followed that up with an 11-2 record in 2009, including a 2-1 playoff record and a berth in the NCAA playoff quarterfinals; a 12-1 performance in the 2010 campaign; a 13-1 record in 2011; and a 14-1 mark in 2012. That five-year run completed the biggest turnaround in Division III football bringing the Tommies from a 206 national ranking to No. 2.
Caruso guided the 2012 Tommies to an NCAA runner-up finish. He was voted by his peers as the Division III National Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches’ Association (AFCA).
He’s just the third Division III honoree in the 30-year history of the AFCA award to top the voting without winning the NCAA championship.
Caruso has built a 57-8 record in five seasons at St. Thomas, with four NCAA playoff berths and an 11-4 postseason mark.
Caruso and his staff graduated four All-Americas and lost several players to injuries yet were able to guide St. Thomas to a school-record 14 wins and the program’s first trip to the NCAA championship game.
The Tommies lost 28-10 to 11-time national champion Mount Union in December’s Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. St. Thomas earned a season-ending AFCA ranking of No. 2 in the nation, a program best. UST had four All-America honorees.
St. Thomas has claimed three consecutive conference championships, the school’s first such streak since 1947-1949. It became the first team in MIAC history to post three consecutive 10-0 records in the regular season. UST’s 2010 conference football championship was St. Thomas’ first since 1990.
Caruso, 38, is believed to be the first AFCA recipient who played in college for an AFCA National Coach of the Year. His mentor at Ithaca College, Jim Butterfield, was a two-time honoree.
Out of 639 NCAA programs, he’s one of just three head coaches – joining Mount Union’s Larry Kehres and Boise State’s Chris Petersen -- to lead the same school to 11 or more wins in each of the last four seasons.
The 2012 Tommies had the most home-field victories in all of NCAA football (9-0 record).
Caruso was also named the Liberty Mutual Division III National Coach of the Year for the third year in a row -- Liberty Mutual’s only multiple winner in any division in the award’s seven-year history.
Caruso has done something unheard of in college football coaching: He has improved his record in each of his first seven seasons as a head coach. He inherited a Macalester program that was 0-9 the previous fall and guided the Scots to records of 2-7 then 4-5. He took over a St. Thomas program coming off a 2-8 season and has posted records of 7-3, 11-2, 12-1, 13-1 and 14-1 in five seasons.
In that five-year span, UST football has won CoSIDA Academic All-America honors five times; had one National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete; has had three Gagliardi Trophy semifinalists; had three AFCA Good Works Team honorees; and on the field has had two conference Player of the Year recipients and 11 players combine to win All-America honors a total of 16 times.
He’s coached five winners of the Rimington Award recognizing the top center in each of four levels of college football.
Caruso has been voted the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in each of the last three seasons. Prior to 2012, the last Tommie football coach so honored was in 1993.
His Tommie teams have been a model of consistency. They’ve led in the second half or overtime in 62 of the 65 games.
St. Thomas isn't Caruso's first turnaround. In his 16-year coaching career he has helped resurrect three other football programs. He also has developed a national reputation for installing dynamic, high-scoring attacks on offense.
The Greenwich, Ct., native played on two state championship football teams at Greenwich High, and has many family members and a vast support system living in that area.
He went on to Ithaca (N.Y.) College, where he was a starter on the offensive line (center) and helped the Bombers make two NCAA Division III playoff trips and post a 30-13 record in his four-year era. He spent one season as a graduate assistant coach at Ithaca, where he coached the offensive line.
Caruso has mentored 15 offensive players who signed pro contracts, including current NFL kick-return standout Stefan Logan of the Detroit Lions.
Caruso earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1996 from Ithaca, where he majored in sport studies. He earned his master's degree in education from North Dakota State University in 2004, and is currently working on his Ph D. in psychology. Coach Caruso and wife Rachael reside in St. Paul with daughter Anna (8) and sons Cade (6) and True (4).
Liberty Mutual will make another $50,000 charitable donation on his behalf, which Caruso has designated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Habitat for Humanity, Twin Cities; the University of Minnesota Cancer Research, located just four miles from UST's campus in Minneapolis, and Bucky's Pride, his foundation created in 2010 and named after his dad Frank "Bucky" Caruso.
Off the field, Caruso and his program make a great impact in St. Paul and beyond. With his funds from the 2010 and 2011 Liberty Mutual awards, Caruso founded “Bucky’s Pride.” He is a founder of a Reading Recess program at local elementary schools. He joined Tommie players and in the Up ‘Til Dawn Benefit writing 2,000 letters to raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He also holds an annual youth football camp and is active in state and national coaching organizations at several levels.
St. Thomas has a rich tradition since its first varsity games in 1903. The Tommies' are ranked in the top 25 in Division III all-time winning percentage. Thirteen Tommies have gone on to play in the National Football League, including three in the last 25 years, and 2013 will mark the 65th anniversary of the famed 1948 Cigar Bowl team which played a New Year's Day bowl game in Tampa, Fla.
Off the field, Tommie football has received CoSIDA Academic All-America honors 23 times in the last 19 seasons; had a player named to the AFCA Good Works Team (campus/community service) a Division III-record 12 consecutive seasons; and have had three players in the last 12 years receive an elite National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award and $18,000 postgrad scholarship.