2012 MIAC Football Awards

2012 MIAC Football Awards

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) was one of the nation's most competitive Division III football conferences in 2012 and, Tuesday, the league honored the top performers from an outstanding season with the announcement of the 2012 MIAC Football Awards. The conference honors included top individual awards, First- and Second-Team All-Conference selections, and the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.
A pair of Concordia standouts were recognized for their great seasons with the league's top two individual student-athlete awards. Senior running back Brett Baune (Fargo, N.D./South) was named the 2012 Jim Christopherson MIAC MVP, and senior offensive lineman Tom Knowlton (Fargo, N.D./South) was honored with the 2012 MIAC Mike Stam Award. St. Thomas Head Coach Glenn Caruso was voted the 2012 MIAC Football Coach-of-the-Year after leading the Tommies to their third-straight MIAC championship, making it the third year in a row he has been honored with the conference's top coaching honor.
Much of the Cobbers physical offensive identity came from their powerful ground game, led by Baune and Knowlton, who were also teammates at Fargo South High School. Concordia finished 8-2 overall, 6-2 in the MIAC and tied for second place in the conference standings in 2012. The Cobbers ended the season ranked No. 22 in the both the AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll, and D3football.com Top 25. Concordia had the MIAC's top overall rushing attack with an average of 255.6 yards per game, and it finished third in total offense (410.0 yards per game) and scoring (34.1 points per game).
MIAC MVP Baune capped his career in style scoring three touchdowns in his final game to push his career total to 34, breaking the previous school record of 33, held by Cobber Head Coach Terry Horan. Baune was one of just two MIAC players to rush for 1,000 yards this season, finishing with 1,040 yards overall and 711 rushing yards in MIAC games. His 13 touchdowns and 78 points led the conference, and his 104.0 yards per game ranked second.
Baune averaged 5.3 yards per carry, which ranked seventh in the league, and he added six catches for 67 yards, an average of 11.2 yards per catch. The Concordia senior averaged 88.9 yards per game in conference play, which ranked fourth in the league and he led all players with 11 touchdowns in MIAC games. Baune was named MIAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week twice (Sept. 10, Nov. 1), and he headlined the All-MIAC First Team Offense, after earning Second-Team honors in 2011. Baune also received Capital One Academic All-District honors last week.
Clearing a path for Baune all season was fellow Cobber Knowlton, the Mike Stam Award-winner, who earned his second-straight All-MIAC First Team honor for his performance at offensive tackle. The 6-5, 300-pound lineman was a force up front for the MIAC's top rushing attack, as Concordia ran for 2,556 yards with 29 TDs on the ground and a team average of 5.2 yards per carry. The Cobbers has a league-best 142 first downs on the ground, and ranked third in the MIAC in time of possession with an average of 31:43. Knowlton helped lead Concordia to its eight wins, which is the team's highest win total since 2005.
Caruso's Tommies made history again this season, claiming their third-straight MIAC title, and becoming the first team in conference history to go undefeated (10-0) in three-straight regular seasons. As a result, Caruso received his third-straight MIAC Coach-of-the-Year honor for his work leading the third-ranked Tommies to give him three conference coaching honors in his first five seasons at UST. Awards are nothing new to Caruso, who has won the Liberty Mutual Division III Coach-of-the-Year award in each of the past two seasons. Caruso's record is 54-7 in four-plus seasons at St. Thomas and his team has won 34 consecutive regular-season games, and 27-straight in the MIAC.
St. Thomas' latest champion had a great offense and a dominant defense. The Tommies led the MIAC in nearly every defensive category, including scoring (14.5 points per game), total defense (265.5 yards per game), rushing defense (66.5 yards per game) and sacks (35). Caruso's club also featured the MIAC's top-ranked offense (482.4 yards per game) and it was second in time of possession (32:12). St. Thomas received the MIAC's automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs, where it has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the past three seasons, including a trip to the semifinals in 2011.
The MIAC All-Conference teams were made up of 37 selections on both the First and Second Teams, 17 each on offense and defense and three on special teams. The First Team featured a heavy emphasis on upperclassmen, with 23 seniors, 13 juniors, no sophomores and one freshmen among the 37 selections.
Conference champion St. Thomas led all teams with nine First-Team selections, while co-runners up Concordia and Bethel were next with seven and six honorees, respectively. St. Olaf had five First-Team picks, Augsburg and Saint John's had four each and Gustavus and Hamline were each represented by one First-Team selection.

There were 11 repeat selections on the First Team in 2012. On offense, Knowlton, St. Olaf wide receiver Stephen Asp, St. Thomas offensive lineman Curtis James and Bethel offensive lineman Josh Wolfe all received First-Team honors for the second-straight season. On the defensive side of the ball, St. Thomas defensive lineman Riley Dombek, Concordia defensive lineman Mark Wychor, Bethel inside linebacker Seth Mathis, St. Thomas outside linebacker Harry Pitera, Saint John's defensive back Bobby Fischer and St. Thomas defensive back Chinni Oji were also repeat First-Team selections. Hamline punter John Broback was also back on the First Team, after also earning the honor in 2010.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the seventh annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for football. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

2012 MIAC Football Awards

Jim Christopherson MIAC MVP - Brett Baune, Running Back, Concordia (Sr., Fargo, N.D./South)

Mike Stam Award - Tom Knowlton, Offensive Line, Concordia (Sr., Fargo, N.D./South)

MIAC Football Coach-of-the-Year - Glenn Caruso, St. Thomas (Fifth season)

2012 MIAC First Team All-Conference - Offense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Dan Dobson    St. Olaf Sr. QB Mankato, Minn./West
Aryton Scott Augsburg Fr. QB Minneapolis, Minn./Southwest
Stephen Asp    St. Olaf Jr. WR Edina, Minn.
Mitch Hallstrom Bethel Jr. WR Eden Prarie, Minn.
Tyler Swanson Augsburg Sr. WR Lakeville, Minn./North
Adam Carl Augsburg Jr. TE Eagan, Minn.
Logan Marks St. Thomas Sr. TE Mendota Heights, Minn./St. Thomas Academy
Brett Baune Concordia Sr. RB Fargo, N.D./South
Jeffrey Dubose Gustavus Jr. RB St. Paul, Minn./St. Croix Lutheran 
Michael Thai St. Olaf Jr. RB Coon Rapids, Minn./Blaine
Kevin Battis Saint John's Jr. OL Blaine, Minn./Centennial
Alex Hsu St. Olaf Jr. OL Woodbury, Minn.
Curtis James St. Thomas Sr. OL Edina, Minn.
Tom Knowlton Concordia Sr. OL Fargo, N.D./South
Jared Penz Bethel     Sr. OL Rochester, Minn./Mayo
Brian Rud Augsburg Sr. OL Lonsdale, Minn./Montgomery-Lonsdale 
Josh Wolfe Bethel Sr. OL Emmetsburg, Iowa             

2012 MIAC First Team All-Conference - Defense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Riley Dombek St. Thomas Jr. DL Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Cretin-DerhamHall
Connor Grill Saint John's Sr. DL Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata
Ayo Idowu St. Thomas Sr. DL Woodbury, Minn.
Paul Streich Concordia Sr. DL Kalispell, Mont.
Mark Wychor Concordia Jr. DL Circle Pines, Minn./Centennial
Seth Mathis     Bethel Jr. ILB Anoka, Minn.
Matt Moenkedick Concordia Sr. ILB Verndale, Minn.
Michael Valesano St. Thomas Sr. ILB Brainerd, Minn.
Jordan Doschadis Concordia Sr. OLB Moorhead, Minn.
Harry Pitera St. Thomas Jr. OLB St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall
Brett Skoog Bethel Sr. OLB Long Lake, Minn./Orono
Tremayne Williams St. Thomas Jr. OLB Appleton, Wis./North
Ryan Deitz St. Thomas Sr. DB Andover, Minn.
Ben Dobson St. Olaf Sr. DB Mankato, Minn./West
Bobby Fischer Saint John's Sr. DB Plymouth, Minn./Osseo 
JD Mehlhorn Bethel Jr. DB Lakeville, Minn./South
Chinni Oji St. Thomas Sr. DB New Brighton, Minn./Irondale

2012 MIAC First Team All-Conference - Special Teams

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Jimmie Mattson Saint John's Sr. K Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial 
John Broback Hamline Sr. P Rosemount, Minn.
Seth Lage Concordia Sr. Ret. Pelican Rapids, Minn.

2012 MIAC Second Team All-Conference - Offense
Name Team Year Position Hometown/Previous School
Matt O'Connell St. Thomas So. QB Clear Lake, Wis.
Griffin Neal Concordia So. QB Fargo, N.D./South
Dan Ferrazzo St. Thomas So. WR Mahtomedi, Minn.
Chase Gottschalk Carleton Jr. WR Independence, Minn./Orono
Jay Hillbrands Bethel Sr. WR Clara City, Minn./Maccray
Jake Schmiesing St. Olaf Jr. WR Stillwater, Minn.
Mark Whiting Concordia Jr. WR Alexandria, Minn./Jefferson
Brenton Braddock St. Thomas Fr. RB Mahtomedi, Minn.
Stephen Johnson Saint John's Sr. RB Mahtomedi, Minn.
Jesse Phenow Bethel Jr. RB Richfield, Minn.
Jason Flesher St. Thomas Jr. OL Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata
Stephen Girard Hamline Sr. OL Milaca, Minn.
Brian Grundmeyer Gustavus Sr. OL Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley
Jack Hedlund Saint John's Jr. OL St. Cloud, Minn./Tech
Tom Quist Concordia Sr. OL Alexandria, Minn./Jefferson
Chad Thompson Augsburg Jr. OL Maple Grove, Minn.
Michael Yanckello St. Olaf Jr. OL Oviedo, Fla.

2012 MIAC Second Team All-Conference - Defense
Name Team Year Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Lucas Buttenhoff Bethel Jr. DL Watertown, Minn./Mayer Lutheran 
Chris DeVet Augsburg So. DL Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View
Donte Green Gustavus Jr. DL Minneapolis, Minn./Minneapolis North
Reed Hefta Concordia Sr. DL Falkirk, N.D. /Underwood 
Gavin Maurer Bethel Sr. DL Morgan, Minn./Cedar Mountain
Pete Hvidston Concordia Sr. ILB Fargo, N.D./Oak Grove
Pat Page Hamline Jr. ILB Minneapolis, Minn./N.D. College of Science
Bryce Vee Augsburg Sr. ILB Coon Rapids, Minn./Blaine
Tyler Berling Concordia Jr. OLB Melrose, Minn./Sauk Centre 
Joe Haas Gustavus Jr. OLB Mission, Kan./Shawnee Mission North
Erik Smith Bethel Sr. OLB Henning, Minn.
Hakeem Bourne-McFarlane Augsburg Jr. DB Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy
Mike Elder Carleton Sr. DB San Antonio, Texas/Central Catholic
Tyler Erstad St. Thomas Sr. DB Lakeville, Minn./North
Brent Rysdahl Concordia Sr. DB Marshall, Minn.
John Michael Vandenberg Hamline Sr. DB Bothell, Wash./Bishop Blanchet
Reggie Woods St. Olaf Sr. DB Palm Coast, Fla./Flagler Palm Coast  

2012 MIAC Second Team All-Conference - Special Teams

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown/Previous School
Lucas Wainman St. Olaf Fr. K Oviedo, Fla. /Paul J. Hagerty 
Garrett Maloney St. Thomas Jr. P Elm Grove, Wis./Marquette H.S.
Brandon Marquardt Bethel So. Ret. Champlin, Minn./Champlin Park

2012 All-MIAC Football Sportsmanship Team
Augsburg - Eric Dooley (Sr., Eagan, Minn.)
Bethel - Derek Waldbillig (Sr., Farmington, Minn.)
Carleton - Paul Hoffer (Sr., Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata)
Concordia - Paul Streich (Sr., Kalispell, Mont.)
Gustavus - Muresuk Mena (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Simley)
Hamline - John Michael- Vandenberg (Sr., Bothell, Wash./Bishop Blanchet )
Saint John's - John Ries (Sr., Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata)
St. Olaf - Lordson Jonassaint (Sr., Orlando, Fla./Freedom )
St. Thomas - Dan Bedor (Sr., Bloomington, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels)