Colorado College lost another icon of its athletics past on Saturday evening when legendary football coach Jerry Carle passed away at the age of 90.
Carle, who doubled as director of athletics at the school for a quarter of a century (1957-82), posted a 137-150-5 overall record in 33 seasons (1957-89) as gridiron boss before retiring in 1990. Including a stint as an assistant coach (1948-51), which was interrupted by service in the United States Marine Corps, he was an integral figure in the Tiger sports scene for parts of five decades.
Standout players who made names for themselves under his tutelage include the late NFL Films mogul Steve Sabol and fellow Colorado College Hall of Famers Scott Driggers, Pat Geonetta and Tom Southall, along with All-Americans Ray Bridges (1976), Daryl Crawford (1974), Terry Hoadley (1976), Scott Robertson (1988), Ed Smith (1972) and Don Soukup (1957).
"When I think of Colorado College athletics, he is the first person I think of," current AD Ken Ralph said of Carle. "He loved the place and what it did for the students he worked with. He was so positive and upbeat about the community and the college."
Carle's most memorable span on the sideline came in the early to mid-1970s, when he brought back the old-school single-wing offense. Utilizing that attack over the course of six seasons (1971-76), the Tigers ran up a remarkable record of 46-7-2, good for a winning percentage of .855, and earned a bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs in 1975 before dropping a 28-21 decision to Millsaps College.
A native of North St. Paul, Minn., Carle also coached the CC basketball and golf teams during his long tenure at the school. He was inducted into the Colorado College Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of its second class in 1996, as well as the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. He became a member of the St. Paul Oldtimers Football HOF in 2002, and received a Distinguished Alumni Award from his high school.
Carle was a 1948 graduate of Northwestern University, where he earned notoriety as a blocking back for the immortal Otto Graham. He had originally enrolled at Minnesota, and played for Gophers head coach and legend Bernie Bierman along with famed assistants Bud Wilkinson (University of Oklahoma) and Dal Ward (University of Colorado). After his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1954, Carle spent three seasons as a backfield coach at Iowa State University before returning to CC in 1957.
During his time as AD at Colorado College, Carle also was recipient of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's Distinguished Service Award as a longtime friend and supporter of the league and its mission on and off the ice. He spent 12 years as the WCHA's director of officials.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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