Panther Football Coach Dale Carlson Leaves Ohio Dominican University
Columbus, OH – After seven years of leading Ohio Dominican University’s football program, Head Football Coach Dale Carlson is returning to Indiana as the new head football coach at Valparaiso University.
Carlson, with more than 25 years experience coaching at the college level, came to Ohio Dominican in the summer of 2003 to be the school’s first head football coach. Prior to coming to Ohio Dominican, Carlson was responsible for launching the football program at Tri-State University in Angola, Indiana. He recently completed his sixth season with the Panthers, achieving a 7-3 overall record and finishing 24th overall in their final season in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
“I am very grateful for the time that I have spent at Ohio Dominican. I am proud of the work the assistant coaches and players have done to build the program into one of the best in the country. The foundation for success is there for the next head coach. My thanks go out to Interim President Ron Seiffert, Vice President Jamie Caridi, and Athletic Director Bill Blazer for the opportunity to be the head coach at Ohio Dominican University. ODU will always be a special place for me,” Carlson said.
During his tenure at ODU, Carlson built the football program from the ground up. For three of their six seasons, the Football Panthers were ranked in the preseason NAIA top 10. Ohio Dominican finished in the top 20 the past three seasons and in 2007 concluded its first undefeated regular season (11-0), while winning the MSFA - Mideast League title.
In his six seasons at ODU, Carlson produced five All-Americans, 11 Academic All-Americans and 92 All-Conference performers. He was selected by his peers as the MSFA - Mideast League 2007 Coach of the Year; the American Football Monthly and Schutt Sports 2007 NAIA Coach of the Year; and the NAIA Independent Colleges’ 2009 Independent Football Conference Coach of the Year.
“We have been extremely fortunate to have had Dale here to launch our football program and the success of that program is a testament to his talent and leadership. Dale will be deeply missed and we wish he and his family the very best as he embarks on the next chapter of his coaching career at Valparaiso,” said ODU Athletics Director Bill Blazer.
ODU’s athletic program is independently affiliated with the NAIA and is in its second year as a candidacy member of the NCAA, with full membership in the NCAA Division II expected in 2011. In June 2009, ODU was accepted as members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) and will commence conference play effective August 2010. If accepted as a full NCAA member, ODU will be the only university in Central Ohio to be NCAA Division II.
Blazer added that a national search for a new head football coach will begin immediately. “This is an incredibly important time for our athletic program, as we approach membership in the NCAA. Our next football coach will play a vital role in moving our football program, department and university forward. We will begin interviewing candidates immediately.”