Caruso excited for challenge of Tommies’ jump to D-1

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Glenn Caruso has been the head coach of the University of St. Thomas football team for the past 12 seasons and that doesn’t figure to change any time soon. What will change in 2021 is that the Tommies will go from a perennial Division III national title contender to the newest team in Division I FCS.

"It is an unbelievable opportunity," Caruso said on Friday. "It’s groundbreaking for a reason. No one has had this opportunity in the history of the NCAA. That’s all we’ve ever asked for and I think it was done so well by our administration."

One of the biggest challenges for the team could be the travel involved in the jump to D1. The Tommies are usually taking a short bus ride for their Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games, but once they join the Pioneer League, they’ll be flying from coast-to-coast with games anywhere from California to North Carolina.

"We’re very clear that we don’t look for the easy path. We look for the worthy path," Caruso added. "I think the ball has been rolling when you look at what the school has been doing for the last 20-30 years. We’re prominently poised to make a move like this and that’s probably why the Summit League and the Pioneer League and the WCHA recognized that."

St. Thomas still has one more year in the MIAC, but even that won’t come without a twist. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no non-conference games played for any fall sports team in the MIAC.

"You always like to reach out and play other teams. For us not to be able to play those is unfortunate, but I also understand that there is a greater good."