Founded in 1885 on a former farm overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul, the University of St. Thomas has grown to be the state’s largest independent college or university.
A Catholic, liberal arts, comprehensive regional university, UST experienced significant growth from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. During that time, enrollment grew from about 2,500 mostly male undergraduate students to approximately 11,000 undergraduate and graduate women and men (6,173 undergrads).
St. Thomas has been coeducational at the undergraduate level since 1977. Today more than half of its students are women.
Athletics has been an integral part of the college scene at St. Thomas since the institution first opened. In the first 20 years, intramural baseball teams were quite popular. The Tommies' school colors -- purple and gray -- evolved from the "Blues" and the "Grays," the top intramural baseball teams in the 1890s.
Varsity intercollegiate sports began in 1904, and St. Thomas celebrated 100 years of varsity athletics in 2003-2004. (Varsity football didn't play during World War II in 1943, thus the 2004 season was the 100th season of varsity football).
In 1920, St. Thomas was among seven charter members of the newly-formed Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Five of those institutions have remained in the MIAC throughout that span -- St. Thomas, Hamline, Macalester, Gustavus and St. John's. St. Olaf and Carleton were charter members who left the conference for a spell but returned in 1975 and 1983, respectively.
Concordia-Moorhead (1921), Augsburg (1924), St. Mary's (1926) have also been longtime MIAC members. Minnesota-Duluth was a member from 1951-75. Bethel has been a member since 1977. St. Benedict and St. Catherine joined the conference in 1982 when the conference started sponsoring women's championships.
St. Thomas has enjoyed long and intense rivalries with Twin Cities neighbors like Macalester, Hamline and Augsburg, as well as outstate institutions St. John's, Gustavus, St. Olaf, Carleton and Concordia-Moorhead.
Team National Championships (16)
Since 1973, when the MIAC became affiliated with NCAA Division III, just 39 conference teams have won NCAA team championships. St. Thomas has won more than one-third of those 39, with 15 NCAA team crowns in eight different sports.
The Tommies also have 13 NCAA team runner-up finishes. They’ve placed first or second in 11 different sports, which puts them in a select group of national institutions with such widespread success. St. Thomas has top-five national team finishes in 21 different sports.
The Tommies also have one AIAW national title in women’s cross country. That makes 16 national crowns.
Out of 1,000-plus NCAA institutions at the Division I, II and III levels, St. Thomas is the only one to have secured at least one NCAA team championship in each of the sports of baseball, softball, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball.
UST National Title Teams
Women’s Cross Country (5): AIAW 1981; D-III 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987
Men’s Cross Country (2): 1984, 1986
Baseball (2): 2001, 2009
Softball: (2): 2004, 2005
Men’s Indoor Track & Field (1) 1985
Women’s Basketball (1) 1991
Men’s Basketball (2) 2011, 2016
Volleyball (1) 2012
St. Thomas won the first MIAC team championship contested – in baseball in 1920.
Division III All-Sports Championships
Relying on balance across its women's and men's sports, St. Thomas placed 11th out of 449 institutions in the final 2018-19 Learfield Division III Directors' Cup all-sport standings. For the second year in a row, the Tommies closed in the top two among all Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa schools.
St. Thomas has finished in the top 30 in the Division III standings -- the overall top seven percent of institutions -- each of the last 15 seasons. That includes top-17 finishes each of the last eight years.
- 12th in 2008;
- 13th in 2009;
- 10th in 2010;
- 26th in 2011;
- eighth in 2012;
- ninth in both 2013 and 2014;
- 14th in 2015;
- ninth in 2016;
- 17th in 2017;
- 16th in 2018;
- 11th in 2019;
- (No awards presented due to Covid-19 outbreak).
Individual/Relay NCAA Champions (68)
UST Individual (63)/Relay (5)
Total National Championships (68)
Men’s Track & Field
|NCAA D-III Outdoor Champions (19)||NCAA D-III Indoor Champions (12)|
|High Jump||1992--Leonard Jones/7-1 1/4
1994--Leonard Jones/7-0 3/4
|Long Jump||1991--Leonard Jones/23-11
1992--Leonard Jones/24-6 1/2
1994--Leonard Jones/25-1 1/4
|Triple Jump||1993--Leonard Jones/50-6 3/4
1994--Leonard Jones/51-10 1/2
|Long Jump||1992--Leonard Jones/25-8***
|35lb Weight Throw||
1990--Ben Bautch/55-2 1/4
2019--Eric Holst/68-7 1-4
|Shot Put||1975--Mark Dienhart/57-3 3⁄4||800||2012—Mike Hutton/1:52.26|
|1,500 Meters||1990-Mike Brown--3:50.76|
|5,000 Meters||1986--Jeff Hyman/14:22.00|
|10,000 Meters||1984--Nic Mancui/30:14.15
|3000 Meter Steeplechase||1979--Paul King/8:58.20
|4x100-Meter Relay||2009--St. Thomas 40.76
(James Ewer, Sam Moen, Joe DeFrance, Pat Jager)
|4x400-Meter Relay||St. Thomas 3:10.60
(James Ewer, Joe DeFrance, Matt Griswold, Pat Jager)
Women’s Track & Field
|NCAA D-III Outdoor Champions (18)||NCAA D-III Indoor Champions (10)|
|Discus||2007--Shara Guidry/145-11||Distance Medley Relay||
2009--St. Thomas 11:50.46
2015--St. Thomas 11:49.12
2016--St. Thomas 11:47.04
|Long Jump||2006--Kristal Grigsby/19-0 3-4
2005--Andretta Colley/19-5 1/4
2004--Kristal Grigsby/19-10 3/4
|Long Jump||2005--Kristal Grigsby/19-2 1/2|
|100 Hurdles||2014—Mallory Burnham/14.02||Weight Throw||2008--Carol Comp/ 56-10 1-4|
|400 Hurdles||1990--Trish Tinucci/61.64
|1,500 Meters||1985--Lisa Koelfgen/4:35.04
|1,500 Meters||1983--Rose McIlrath/4:34.21
|5,000 Meters||1994--Kelly Copps/17:10.75
|5,000 Meters||1990--Gretchen Farkas/16:43.96
|10,000 Meters||1983--Deb Thometz/33:50.32***
|4x100-Meter Relay||1997--St. Thomas 47.33
(Celeste Campo, Megan Pfeiffer, Emily Haley, Andrea Budig)
Women's Swim-Dive (3)
2016--Emma Paulson, 50 free (22.77), 100 back (54.43), 200 back (1:56.33).
CoSIDA Academic All-Americas
St. Thomas ranks in the top seven percent of all NCAA institutions in CoSIDA Academic All-Americas with 109, including 87 honorees since in the last 20 years.
All 22 of St. Thomas' sports has an alumni who has received Academic All-America honors.
2017-18: Isaac Seering (football)
2016-17: Nick Waldvogel (football), Ryan Winter (football), Emma Paulson (swimming & diving)
2015-16: David Simmet (football); Emma Paulson (swimming & diving); Emily Gapinski (CC/T&F); Dylan Baumann (CC/T&F); Jacob Gerhartz (CC/T&F)
2014-15: David Simmet (football); Kelly Foley (volleyball); Jill Greenfield (volleyball); Alex Kapraun (at-large/men's golf); Drew Fielding (at-large/men's hockey); Kendra Bowe (softball).
2013-14: Kelly Foley (volleyball); Alex Kapraun (men's golf); Emily Gregory (softball); Kirstin Bigelbach (softball); Erin Statz (Women's CC/track and field)
2012-13: Kimmy Hassel (softball); Eyo Ekpo (men's track and field)
2011-12: Dan Chapman (football); Fritz Waldvogel (football); Ashley Maher (volleyball); Eyo Ekpo (men's track and field)
2010-11: Dan Chapman (football); Ben Wartman (football);
2009-10: Ben Wartman (football); Elliot Amundson (men's soccer); Matt Schuld (baseball); Nikki Arola (women's track & field); Pat Jager (men's track & field); Marta Radcliffe (softball); Alison Wright (softball)
2008-09: Katie McCaffrey (volleyball); Matt Schuld (baseball); Nikki Arola (women's track & field); Phil Bastron (men's track & field); Katie Theisen (women's track & field); Alison Wright (softball)
2007-08: P.J. Theisen (football); Katie Theisen (women's track & field); Maria Bye (softball); P.J. Thiesen (men's track & field)
2006-07: Maria Bye (softball); Carrie Embree (softball); Riley Bosch (baseball)
2005-06: P.J. Thiesen (football); Ben Kessler (football); Andrew Ubbelohde (football); Nikki Conway (softball); Maria Bye (softball); Carrie Embree (softball); Molly Bauman (women's track & ield); P.J. Theisen (men's track & field)
2004-05: Ben Kessler (football); Brigid Power (women's CC/track & field; Dave Linn (at-large/swimming & diving; Tut Fuller (at-large/men's tennis); Katie Glorvigen (at-large/women's golf)
2003-04: Dave Linn (at-large/swimming & diving; Kristi Huegel (softball)
2002-03: Tessie Thompson (women's soccer); Jake Barkley (football); Andrew Hilliard (football); Dave Linn (at-large/swimming & diving; Andrew Hilliard (men's track and field); Tom Carroll (baseball); Shannon Moore (softball)
2001-02: Andy Kaiser (football); Jake Barkley (football); Andrew Hilliard (football); Kristin Murray (at-large/women's swimming & diving); Andrew Hilliard (men's track & field); Tut Fuller (at-large/men's tennis)
2000-01: Jake Barkley (football); Mychal Brendan (men's basketball); Andrew Hilliard (at-large/men's track & field)
1998-99: Greg Kaiser (at-large/men's track & field); Steve Aronson (at-large/men's hockey)
1997-98: Greg Kaiser (football); Tonia Call (softball)
1995-96: Curt Behrns (football)
1994-95: Curt Behrns (football); Johnny Tauer (men's basketball); Kelly Copps (at-large/women's CC, track & field)
1993-94: Curt Behrns (football)
1992-93: Penny Thompson (volleyball); Kari Bymers (at-large/women's tennis)
1991-92: Penny Thompson (volleyball)
1990-91: Michelle Auger (at-large/women's track & field)
1984-85: Laura Inderieden (at-large/women's track & field)
1982-83: Debbie Thometz (at-large/CC, women's track & field)
1980-81: Doug Groebner (football); Greg Hendricks (men's basketball)
1977-78: Tom Kelly (football); Terry Fleming (men's basketball)
1974-75: Mark Dienhart (football)
1973-74: Mark Dienhart (football)
1966-67: Dan Hansard (men's basketball)