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Al Carius named National Coach of the Year

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North Central’s head men’s cross country coach Al Carius has been named the 2009 NCAA Division III National Cross Country Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Carius and the Cardinals won the Division III national championship Nov. 21, their first since 1999 and 13th overall. With all seven competing runners earning All-America status, the Cardinals decimated the field, finishing with just 50 points, and the fourth-lowest winning total in the meet's history. Carius also guided the Cardinals to eight invitational wins this season, attaining a perfect score of 15 on three separate occasions. The Cardinals, ranked number one all season long by the USTFCCCA, won their first Illinois Intercollegiate Championship this season, edging out the University of Illinois by 16 points while winning the NCAA Midwest Regional by an 84-point margin. Carius guided the team to their 36th consecutive College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) crown this season, and his staff was honored as the CCIW Coaching Staff of the Year. A member of the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame, Carius has won a total of 18 national titles during his tenure at North Central, also winning four championships in outdoor track & field and one in indoor track & field.