Carleton hires 10-year D-III head coach

More news about: Carleton | UW-Stevens Point
Tom Journell, gesturing on sidelines
Tom Journell has spent more than 20 years coaching in the WIAC, including the past 10 at UW-Stevens Point.
Photo by Kylie Bridenhagen,

Carleton has named Tom Journell, currently the head coach at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, as its new head football coach as announced by athletic director Gerald Young.

Journell replaces Bob Pagel, who won 12 games over six seasons as the Kinghts' head coach.

“We are very pleased that Tom Journell has agreed to lead the Knights football program,” said Young. “Coach Journell’s extensive football knowledge, combined with his comprehensive teaching approach makes Tom a great fit for Carleton. He is committed to creating the best overall experience for our student-athletes, and I’m excited for what he can bring to the Carleton community.”

Journell is the 18th head coach in the 115-year history of Carleton football and brings with him 31 years of coaching experience, including two previous stops as a head coach. He guided the UW-Stevens Point program since 2012 and was at the helm of the Elmhurst program for the 2004-2007 campaigns.

“It is an immense honor to be entrusted to lead the Carleton College football program,” Journell said. “I am indebted to the athletic department, administration, alumni, student-athletes, and campus community for your confidence in me and steadfast support for Carleton College football.

“I am committed to cultivating a team experience that fosters the holistic growth of our student-athletes as they embrace and engage in Carleton’s rigorous liberal arts academic learning community; play hard, play smart, and play together competing for MIAC championships; and graduate in a field about which they feel a sense of purpose and passion. Hail the maize and blue!”

Journell owned a 29-31 overall record in his six seasons at UWSP as the Pointers played in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Last season, that conference featured five teams ranked among the nation’s top-25 squads.

His 2016 team went 6-4, with three of those losses coming against top-10 foes. In 2014, UW-Stevens Point ranked as high as No. 13 in the country as the Pointers opened the season with five consecutive wins, including a victory over No. 5 North Central (Ill.).

Journell was defensive coordinator at UWSP for four seasons beginning in 2008, helping lead the team to a 19-9 record in WIAC play and a 27-14 overall mark. During his tenure, the Pointers' defense finished amongst the league leaders in almost every statistical category.

In 2008, UWSP finished the season 9-2 overall and earned the program’s first NCAA playoff appearance since 2001. That season, Journell was honored as the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association’s assistant coach-of-the-year.

"It was an immense honor leading the UWSP Pointer Football program," Journell said. "Thank you to the University and Pointers community of players, alumni, family, friends, fans and coaching staff for helping us build on the shared vision for UWSP football. Tate, Mack, Betsy and I are forever grateful for our 10 years in Stevens Point where our minds and spirits have been supported and stretched, nurtured and nudged, cheered and challenged, and embraced and encouraged."

Prior to joining the UW-Stevens Point staff, Journell spent four seasons as the head coach at Elmhurst. He closed his time with the Bluejays by becoming the program’s first coach in 24 years to lead his team to back-to-back-to-back winning seasons.

Previously, Journell spent 15 seasons at UW-River Falls, spending time as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. He started with the Falcons in 1989 as the team’s secondary coach and after one season was promoted to defensive coordinator. In 1995, he was again promoted to assistant head coach, a position he held for the next eight seasons. Journell helped lead the Falcons to NCAA Division III playoff appearances in both 1995 and 1996 and aided UW-River Falls to its last WIAC title in 1998.

Previous to coaching at UW-River Falls, Journell spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) where he was an assistant defensive secondary and linebackers coach.

A native of Eaton, Ohio, Journell and his wife Betsy have two sons, Mack and Tate. Mack is a member of the Carleton class of 2021 and plays wide receiver for the Knights.