Journell steps down as UWSP football head coach
Tom Journell announced Monday, April 23, that he was stepping down as the head coach of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) football team to take over as the head coach of the NCAA Division III Carleton College football team in Northfield, Minn.
The Pointers went 4-6 last season in Journell’s sixth year as the head coach, while Carleton went 0-10 last year.
“It was an immense honor leading the UWSP Pointer football program,” said Journell. “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,” he said. “We love the purple and gold. ONE POINT!”
“We are very pleased that Tom Journell has agreed to lead the Knights football program,” said Carleton athletic director Gerald 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,” he said.
After UWSP’s all-time winningest football head coach John Miech was fired by then-athletic director Daron Montgomery following the 2011 season, Journell was promoted to head coach after he spent the previous four seasons as the Pointers’ defensive coordinator, when the team went 27-14.
UWSP went 2-8 in Journell’s first season in 2012, then improved to 5-5 in 2013 and 7-3 in 2014, before it went 5-5 in 2015, 6-4 in 2016, and 4-6 last season to finish with a 29-31 record under Journell.
Over the last six seasons, UWSP had 15 players earn First Team All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) honors, as well as one player receive CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in each of the last four seasons.
“We are thankful to coach Journell for his time and perseverance over the last six seasons guiding the UWSP football program,” said UWSP director of athletics Brad Duckworth.
“His efforts to continue to build the football program while adhering to university guidelines has been tremendous.
“We wish Tom and his family the best of luck in his new venture,” he said.
Journell has 31 years of coaching experience, and came to UWSP after a four-year stint as the head coach at Elmhurst College (Ill.).
He also was an assistant coach at UW-River Falls for 15 seasons and was part of the staff at NCAA Division 1 Miami University (Ohio) for two seasons.
UWSP will begin a full national search for Journell’s replacement immediately.
Journell’s oldest son Mack played for the Carleton football team as a freshman wide receiver in 2016, before he transferred to the NCAA Division III Rose-Hulman Institute (Ind.), where he caught seven passes for 77 yards as a sophomore last season.
Mack will return to play at Carleton, which competes in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and is 4-36 overall since 2014, after it went 0-10 last season, 1-9 in 2016, 1-9 in 2015, and 2-8 in 2014.
“It is an immense honor to be entrusted to lead the Carleton College football program,” said Journell. “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,” he said. “Hail the maize and blue!”