There is still time to nominate Glenn Caruso for National Coach of the Year in Division III football in the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year program.
Caruso won the honor in 2010 and currently is in the top five of the fan voting again in 2011. Individuals can vote once a day at coachoftheyear.com through Saturday, Dec. 3, with finalist voting to follow. A complete timeline and more information about the award is available here.
At age 36, Caruso became the youngest winner of the Liberty Mutual Award, which was first presented in 2006. The program has honored 17 coaches to date from FBS, FCS, Division II and III based on their on-field leadership and achievements as well as community service and charity involvement.
Caruso was introduced at a nationally televised awards breakfast and joined the other 2010 recipients during festivities at January’s BCS Championship Game in Arizona.
Since his 2008 hiring as St. Thomas head coach, Caruso has guided the best three-year turnaround among all 640 NCAA football programs. He was hired in January 2008 and took over a team that just finished 2-8 in 2007. In his three seasons he has led UST to won-loss records of 7-3, 11-2 and 12-1, and now a 9-0 start and No. 3 national ranking in 2011.
The award also includes a $50,000 gift to Caruso’s designated charities, as well as a $20,000 donation to St. Thomas’ Alumni Association.
Caruso designated his charity funds to the Yale-New Haven Cancer Center, as well as a local charity, Bucky’s Pride, that his wife and he created to support families of children affected by cancer and blood disorders.
At age 5, Caruso was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder. He credits the doctors at Yale-New Haven Cancer center for helping save his life at that time. In appreciation, he previously set up a living trust with that hospital as the beneficiary.
He holds an annual youth football camp in St. Paul. Caruso and his wife met at a Special Olympics volunteer event, and he volunteered in that organization for six years. Caruso also initiated a reading in the schools program this fall at an elementary school, volunteers speaking at local youth sports organizations and schools, has assisted with Toys for Tots, has served on AFCA’s All-America and Committee and Division III Council, and works with National Football Foundation events.
In his first three seasons at St. Thomas his players have won All-America honors six times, ESPN Academic All-America honors three times, and AFCA Good Works Team honors twice.
His 2010 Tommies compiled the first 10-0 regular-season finish in the school’s 106-year varsity history. They also set a record for season victories in their 12-1 finish, and won the school’s first conference championship since 1990.
Caruso was voted the 2010 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year – the first such honor for a UST football coach since 1993.
In his 39-6 overall record at St. Thomas, his Tommies have been a model of consistency as they’ve led in the second half or overtime in 44 of the 45 games.
The 2010 award marked the sixth time in the last 10 seasons that a St. Thomas coach received national Coach of the Year honors, but it’s the first award of its kind for a Tommie football coach in 54 years, since Frank Deig was named National Small College Coach of the Year.