Head Coach Bob Carlson
Record at School/Years: 159-96-24 (.613)/15 seasons
Career Record: Same
The 2011 campaign marked Bob Carlson’s 15th season at the helm of the Carleton men’s soccer program. He has led the Knights to four MIAC regular-season titles in the last five years (2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011). The 2008 squad also captured the conference’s post-season title as well as the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships, where the Knights advanced to the “Sweet Sixteen.” In 2008, Carlson earned MIAC coach of the year honors for the second time and was named West Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
The Knights have posted 12 winning seasons under Carlson, including a spectacular 69-22-9 record (.735) over the last five years. In comparison, Carleton posted only eight winning seasons in the 24 years prior to his arrival.
With an overall ledger of 159-96-24 during his first fifteen seasons at the helm, Carlson ranks first all-time at Carleton in both career victories and winning percentage (.613) among coaches with more than one season coached. His tenure has been marked by consistent play and strong finishes in the MIAC, perennially one of the strongest men's soccer conferences in all of NCAA Division III. For the past 15 years his team has earned NSCAA Team Academic awards, including three years in which the Knights posted the highest team grade point average in all of NCAA Division I, II and III.
The 2008 campaign was the best in the program’s history, as the Knights went 17-2-3 including the team’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Championships. That victory total shattered the previous school record for wins (14) in a single season. Carlson's Knights were ranked throughout most of the year, rising as high as No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas national poll, and finished 8-1-1 in MIAC play.
After earning the 2007 regular-season title and reaching the MIAC Playoffs for the first time, Carlson guided Carleton to new heights in 2008. Following a decisive 2-0 triumph over St. Thomas in the semifinals the Knights posted a shootout victory over Augsburg to capture their first MIAC playoff title and earn the squad its initial trip to the national tournament. With their NCAA Championships second-round win over Wisconsin-Platteville, the Knights reached the Sectionals (round of 16) only to fall to defending national champion Middlebury College, 1-0.
The Knights have become nearly unbeatable at Bell Field under Carlson. Over the last five years Carleton has compiled a 37-10-5 record at home. In addition, under his direction, the Knights have gone an amazing 42-7-5 (.824) in MIAC play since Oct. 14, 2006.
A 1986 graduate of St. Olaf College, Carlson was a standout player for the Oles as a team captain, all-conference selection and four-year letterwinner. He helped St. Olaf capture the 1984 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) crown and an NCAA tournament bid, the first-ever for a MIAC institution. As a coach, Carlson returned to Minnesota in 1991 as an assistant at Gustavus Adolphus College. During his four-year tenure there, the Gusties won two conference championships and earned two NCAA tournament bids.
A native of Illinois, Carlson was an all-area soccer and basketball player at New Trier High School. He is married to Cathy Carlson, Associate Dean of Students at Carleton; the couple has a son, Sam, and a daughter, Emma.
Assistant Coach Joe Hartwell
The 2011 season was Joe Hartwell’s first as an assistant coach at Carleton, having previously spent five years at his alma mater Gustavus Adolphus College. He was a NSCAA First-Team All-American central defender for the Gusties in 2004. Hartwell scored five goals and added two assists in addition to anchoring a defense that yielded just four goals in 23 games during that campaign. He has served as a club coach at Dakota REV for several years.