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Coaching Staff

Head Coach Bob Pagel Bob Pagel, football headshot
Phone: (507) 222-7131

Bob Pagel took over the reigns of the Carleton program in January 2012 and is in his 10th season on Knights staff.

Pagel came to Carleton in 2004 as the Knights’ special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach, a role he filled again during the 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, was tabbed interim head coach on Jan. 6, 2012, and had the interim tagged removed following the 2012 season.

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 for three years at Wartburg and two seasons at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. While at his alma mater, Pagel worked with a defense that helped the Wartburg Knights 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 joining 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 (10), Ella (7), and Wyatt (3).



Mike McHugh, football headshotAssistant Coach Mike McHugh (Offensive Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator)
(507) 222-5783
Mike McHugh rejoined the Knights in February 2014 after two seasons on the coaching staff at Concordia University (Div. II) in St. Paul, Minn. While with the Golden Bears, McHugh served as recruiting coordinator. He worked with the running backs and tight ends his first season at Concordia, then was appointed offensive line coach in 2013. In his second year with Concordia, the Golden Bears reduced their QB sacks and turnovers by 50% and improved from 2-9 to a 5-6 record. Previously, McHugh spent the 2011 football season at Carleton as the Knights’ offensive line coach and run game coordinator. 

A 2007 graduate of Loras College (Iowa), he served as a student-assistant coach at his alma mater during the spring of 2007 before joining the staff at Eureka College (Ill.). While with the Red Devils, McHugh served as the offensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator before being elevated to offensive coordinator. He then joined the staff at the University of Minnesota–Duluth as a graduate intern and oversaw the running backs and tight ends during the 2008-10 seasons. McHugh helped the Bulldogs to two undefeated seasons and three deep playoff runs that culminated in the 2008 and 2010 NCAA Division II National Championships. During that time, UMD produced rushing offenses ranked in the top-five in the country and featured the nation's third-leading individual rusher. McHugh is originally from Chicago and attended Loyola Academy. He  holds a B.A. in exercise science and earned a Master's in Education from UMD. In July, McHugh will marry his fiancé Amy Sandstrom. 


Rob Davenport, football headshotAssistant Coach Rob Davenport  (Defensive Coordinator)
Phone: (507) 222-5782

Rob Davenport joined the coaching staff in April 2014 and serves as the Knights’ defensive coordinator. He comes to Carleton after two seasons as defensive coordinator and director of football operations at Curry College (Mass.)

Davenport played linebacker for four seasons at Ripon College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1993. He coached at his alma mater from 1993-1994 and again in 1997, with stops at Lake Forest College (1995) and Milton (Mass.) High School (1996) in between. Prior to working at Curry, he served as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota-Duluth (1999), defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Dean College (2003-2007), and defensive coordinator at Mass. Maritime (2008-2011).

Davenport received a Master of Education degree from Cambridge College in 2008. He and his wife, Mary Jo, and daughters, Elena and Katie, will move to Minnesota at the conclusion of the 2013-14 school year.


Assistant Coach DJ Winfield (Wide Receivers/Returners)D.J. Winfield, football headshot

DJ Winfield enters his first season with the Knights. He was a two-time All-American wide receiver at the University of Minnesota-Duluth from 2007-2011, where he won two national championships with the Bulldogs in 2008 and 2010. After graduating with his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Integrated Elementary and Special Education from UMD, Winfield joined the Bulldogs’ staff as a student-assistant coach, working with the wide receivers and kick returners in 2012. During the 2013 season, he served as wide receivers/returners coach at Macalester College.




 Dave Faust, football headshot

Assistant Coach Dave Faust  (Offensive Line)
Dave Faust joined the Knights’ staff in 2012 as the offensive line coach, bringing with him 35 years coaching experience. Faust served as the head coach from 1990-98 at Henry Sibley high school before moving to a position of the Hamline University staff. From 1999-2000 he coached special teams and tight ends before transitioning to offensive line for the next three years. After his stint at Hamline, Faust returned to Henry Sibley to be the special teams coordinator. At the high school he is also the chair of the physical education and health department. Faust received his undergraduate and master’s degree at Northern State University in 1982 and 1983.



 John Ott, football headshot

Assistant Coach John Ott (Running Backs)

John Ott is in his second season with the Knights. He has held a variety of roles from position coach to coordinator to head coach during his career which spans 22 years in the high school and college ranks.  A 1996 graduate of Bemidji State, Ott is working on his masters degree in education leadership from Saint Mary's University.