Who is the best Division III football coach in America? A lot of people believe it’s Glenn Caruso of the University of St. Thomas.

Caruso, in his third year at St. Thomas, is one of five finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award. The criteria for winning  the award includes fan voting, an evaluation process, finalist fan voting, and a committee vote. As of early this morning, in the finalist fan voting, Caruso held a lead of about 200 votes over Bethel University’s Steve Johnson. Finalist voting continues through Tuesday, Dec. 28. The winner will  be announced Monday, Jan. 10.

“We are absolutely thrilled and proud of the great job that Coach Caruso has done in bringing the St. Thomas program to the national stage,” Athletic Director Steve Fritz remarked. “Glenn is and should be a favorite for the Liberty Mutual national Coach of the Year award.”

Votes, one per day per e-mail account, can be cast for Caruso on the Coach of the Year website.

Since coming to St. Thomas in 2008, Caruso has posted season records of 7-3, 11-2 and 12-1. His Tommies advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA playoffs in both 2009 and this fall. Caruso recently was voted MIAC Coach of the Year – the first for a St. Thomas football coach since 1993 – and was named AFCA Region Coach of the Year.

In addition, the Tommies:

  • Have a 30-6 record in Caruso’s three-year era and have made the best turnaround in that span in all of NCAA football as they rebounded from a 2-8 finish in 2007.
  • Have been ranked nationally for 26 consecutive polls by D3Football.com.
  • Have fourth most victories (23) out of 241 Division III teams in last two seasons.
  • In 2010 had the school’s fourth unbeaten regular season in football and first since 1956, and also had their first 12-0 start.
  • Had their first back-to-back NCAA football playoff appearances in school history.
  • Won the first MIAC title since 1990 and first solo conference championship since 1983.
  • Have posted a 10-1 record in games outside the MIAC in Caruso’s three-year era. St. Thomas football was 6-20-1 in nonconference play from 1987-2007.

The winning coach receives $50,000 to donate to the charity or charities of his choice and a $20,000 grant to donate to his school’s alumni association.

More information about Tommie football is avaliable on the Tommie Sports website.