NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Carleton College athletic director Gerald Young has named Bob Pagel as the College’s head football coach, after Pagel served as interim head coach this past season.
“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to continue to lead the team and to continue to build on the foundation we established this past season,” said Pagel. “One of the things we’ve shown is that we have fantastic coaches on the staff. It’s pretty exciting that guys joining our program are going to have opportunities to learn from these coaches and be significant contributors early in their football careers.”
Pagel will also serve as an assistant professor in the Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation (PEAR) Department, as well as the Knights’ defensive coordinator. He completed his eighth season on the coaching staff this past fall and is the 17th head coach in Carleton football history. He was appointed interim head coach in January 2012 following the resignation of Kurt Ramler.
This fall, Pagel became only the seventh football coach in Carleton history—and just the second since 1940— to guide his squad to victories in his first two games at the helm of the program.
The Knights were 3-7 this season while playing in the formidable Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). The league featured three national top-25 teams in 2012 and is one of only two leagues in the country to advance a pair of squads to the second round of the NCAA Division III football playoffs this year. In fact, the MIAC institutions have made a total of three national semifinal appearances since 2010.
Pagel’s “play hard for all four quarters” philosophy was rewarded as the Knights out-scored the opposition 89-26 in the fourth quarter and overtime periods. The team was the most disciplined in the conference, averaging only 39.7 penalty yards per game, the best figure in the MIAC and 14th in the country.
"We are thrilled that Bob has agreed to continue leading the Knight football program,” said Young, who also chairs the PEAR department at Carleton. “Bob has earned the respect and admiration of the players, his coaching peers, and his fellow PEAR faculty members. It is without question that Bob is the perfect fit for Carleton College, and I'm looking forward to watching our program grow under his leadership."
Pagel served as the Knights’ special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach during the 2004, 2006 and 2007 campaigns. He implemented the coverage schemes for a defense that finished eighth in the nation in takeaways during the 2006 schedule. Pagel was promoted to defensive coordinator in Spring 2008, and that fall the Knights posted a 7-3 record, their most successful season in 16 years. He added associate head coach duties for the 2010 campaign.
Prior to joining the staff at Carleton, Pagel spent five years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD), serving as the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach. He helped orchestrate UMD’s nationally-ranked defense as the team garnered their only bowl game bid in 2001 and earned their first berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs in 2002.
A two-time all-conference player and 1992 graduate of Wartburg College (Iowa), Pagel worked under current UMD head coach Bob Nielson for three years at Wartburg and two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. While at Wartburg, Pagel worked with a defense that helped that program go 27-3 and make a pair of national playoff appearances. He spent the 1998 campaign at St. Cloud State University as a graduate assistant coach before rejoining Nielson at UMD for the 1999-2003 seasons.
A native of Eyota, Minn., and graduate of Dover-Eyota High School, Pagel received a B.A. degree in business from Wartburg and holds a master's degree in sports management from St. Cloud State. He resides in nearby Nerstand, Minn., with his wife, Chaz, and the couple’s three children, Mason (9), Ella (6), and Wyatt (2).