Carleton is a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), one of the best NCAA Division III conferences in the nation. The 13-member conference is centered in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, meaning Carleton student-athletes have very short road trips for nearly all conference contests. This means very little missed class time for traveling, a very key factor in balancing academics and athletics at Carleton.
The Knights are very competitive in the MIAC since rejoining the league in 1983 (Carleton belonged to the Midwest Conference from the 1920s-83).
- Last year 64 student-athletes earned all-conference honors and two coaches were named MIAC Coach of the Year in their respective sport.
- Since the Knights rejoined the MIAC, baseball (1991), men’s basketball (2005-06), women’s basketball (2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05) men’s cross country (1994, 1995, 2002), women’s cross country (2004, 2005) football (1992), women’s swimming and diving (1999-2000, 2000-01), women’s tennis (1985, 1985, 19987) and volleyball (2004) have all won conference regular-season titles.
- The volleyball team has finished in the top three of the conference standings every season since 2003 and won the 2004 regular-season title. They have been nationally ranked for the past three seasons.
- The women's track and field team has won 15 individual conference titles during its indoor and outdoor season over the last five seasons.
- The men's track and field team featured Tom Ballinger '09, who earned All-America honors and finished sixth in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
- The men’s tennis team has finished runner-up at the MIAC Championships for the past five seasons, and was ranked 31st nationally during the 2007 season.
- The women’s tennis team has been one of the most successful programs at Carleton since the Knights rejoined the MIAC, winning three straight titles from 1985-87 and finishing in the conference’s top three 15 times since 1983. They’ve finished in the top two of the conference six times in the last 12 seasons.
- The women’s swimming and diving team has finished in the top three at the MIAC Championships for the last decade and won titles in 2000 and 2001. The team features sisters Becky and Kate Alexander ('09 and '10) who both notched All-MIAC honors in three events; Kate also earned All-America honors.
- The men’s swimming and diving team has placed in the conference’s top four and featured All-American Ted Marschall '09.
- The softball team featured All-MIAC pitcher Mari Jo Long '09, striking out 168 batters last season and posted a 3.54 ERA.
- The women’s soccer team won the 1982 conference title in its first year in the conference. Thanks to a golden goal by Dylan Welch '08 in the 91st minute, the Knights advanced to the MIAC Playoff title match in 2006 in their first conference tournament appearance since the format changed to a four-team, single elimination format.
- The men’s soccer team has posted seven winning seasons in the past 10 years playing in one of the most competitive men’s soccer conferences in the country. They’ve tallied a 14-2-1 record in October during the 2005 and 2005 seasons combined.
- The women’s golf team finished fourth in the conference and featured Kassie Wells '07, the first ever Carleton golfer to make it to the NCAA Championships, where she finished 34th.
- The men’s golf team won 12 Midwest Conference titles before moving to the MIAC in 1983.
- Football is one of only five programs in the conference to win a MIAC title since 1990. The Knights won the 1992 title outright.
- The women’s cross country team has finished in the top three at the MIAC Championships 10 times in the last 14 years, including back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005 and a runner-up finish in 2006.
- The men’s cross country program finished in the top two of the MIAC Championships for four consecutive years and owns three conference titles over the last 13 seasons.
- The women’s basketball team is won 127 games in the last six seasons, making it one of the most dominant programs in the conference. The Knights own three MIAC regular-season titles and four MIAC Playoff titles during that time span. The four straight MIAC Playoff titles marked the first time in conference history one program won four consecutive conference tournament titles.
- The men’s basketball team has qualified for the MIAC Playoffs 14 times in the last 18 seasons and captured the program’s first conference title in 40 seasons in 2005-06.
- Tony LePage ’03 was named the MIAC’s top pitcher for the baseball program in 2003.
- Carleton’s coaches are among the best in the MIAC, as Colby Carlson (women's tennis, 2007), Keren Gudeman (women's soccer, 2006), Guy Kalland (men’s basketball, 2005-06), Tammy Metcalf-Filzen (women’s basketball, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04), Donna Ricks (women’s cross country, 2004 and 2005), Andy Clark (women’s swimming and diving, 2004-05) Stephan Zweifel (men’s tennis, 2002, 2003 and 2004) and Heidi Jaynes (2003 and 2004) have all earned MIAC Coach of the Year honors.