The architect of one of the most enduringly successful programs in collegiate athletics, Al Carius enters his 49th year as the Cardinals' head men's cross country coach. After 44 years in charge of the Cardinals' track and field program, he enters his fifth season as North Central's associate head coach, guiding North Central's distance runners.
A native of Morton, Ill., Carius came to North Central in 1966 after two years as a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois. As an undergraduate at Illinois, he was a two-time Big Ten Conference champion in cross country, and he added three Big Ten two-mile titles in track.
Carius' cross country teams have won 15 national titles and finished runner-up 15 times in 40 years of NCAA Division III competition. Cardinal teams have won 40 consecutive College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) Cross Country Championships and 47 of 54 overall.
Carius was honored as cross country “Coach of the Century,” as well as being named NCAA Division III Cross Country Coach of the Year eight times. He is also a member of the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame, the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and the Drake Relays Hall of Fame. In October 2006, he became an honorary alumnus of North Central.
He, his wife, Pam, and their children, live in Naperville.