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Leadership During Transition: University of St. Thomas’ Esten & Caruso

Guest Phil Esten, University of St. Thomas; Glenn Caruso, University of St. Thomas
30:51 min watch


University of St. Thomas Vice President and Director of Athletics Phil Esten and Head Football Coach Glenn Caruso sit down with AthleticDirectorU to discuss the Tommies’ historic transition from Division III to Division I. Esten and Caruso discuss the gravity of the move, its impact on the institution, dealing with the challenges and changes, how they have handled the move and much more.


The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).
  • - What are your thoughts on being the first head football coach to lead a team from Divison III to Division I? (Caruso)
  • - From an athletics administrator's perspective, what was your mindset as you embarked on making this historic transition? (Esten)
  • - As the unknown challenges of this transitions have become known, what are some of the challenges you have dealt with during the journey? (Esten)
  • - As the conversations on the move started internally, what was your mindset early on? (Caruso)
  • - What are some of the similarities and differences in recruiting for Division I as opposed to recruting for Division III? (Caruso)
  • - How did you handle conversations with coaches and staff about maintaining success as the school embarked on this major change? (Esten)
  • - What was your internal conversation as you evaluated the respective decisions leading up to and during this process? (Esten)
  • - How has this transition process impacted your habits as a football coach? (Caruso)
  • - Given the impact this type of decision can have on the entire campus, how was the transition initially received by faculty and staff on campus?
  • - How have you leaned on your area of expertise throughout this process? (Esten)
  • - How does this transition impact the University of St. Thomas brand? (Esten)
  • - How have you had to step outside your comfort zone throughout this transition? (Caruso)