For the third year in a row, St. Thomas football coach Glenn Caruso has been voted one of five Division III finalists for the 2012 Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year award.
Caruso joins coaches from Coe, Lake Forest, Concordia-Chicago and UW-Oshkosh as finalists.
The Division I FBS 10 finalists include Alabama’s Nick Saban, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Penn State’s Bill O’Brien. The Division II finalists include Minnesota-Duluth’s Bob Nielsen.
Fans can vote through Dec. 20, once per day in each division, via Twitter or the Coach of the Year website.
Caruso was the Liberty Mutual national winner for Division III in both 2010 and 2011, the first two-time recipient in the award’s history. St. Thomas voters helped him get over the top in each of the previous two years.
Fan voting accounts for 20 percent of the tally in determining the winner, with 55 percent from a College Football Hall of Fame selection committee and 25 percent from a national media panel. The winner will be announced Jan. 7 before the BCS title game.
The award recognizes coaches who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence, on and off the field. Winners receive $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice and $20,000 for their school’s alumni association.
In his five years as coach, Caruso has led St. Thomas to a 56-7 record with four consecutive NCAA playoff quarterfinal and three consecutive 10-0 regular seasons. The Tommies have won three MIAC football championships in a row, a feat last achieved here in 1947-49. American Football Monthly chose Caruso as 2011 Division III Coach of the Year after he led the Tommies to the national semifinals in a school-record 13-1 finish.
Caruso has a long résumé of community service, including his Bucky’s Pride foundation, Ronald McDonald Charities, St. Jude’s Hospital, a local Reading Recess program and his annual youth football camp.