Brady Grayvold has accepted a position on the football coaching staff at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota after spending two seasons as head coach of the Fort Atkinson Blackhawks, according to Grayvold and Fort Atkinson athletic director Steve Mahoney.
Grayvold was hired in May of 2018 after three seasons as an assistant coach at Sun Prairie where the Cardinals were runner-up to Kimberly in 2017. Grayvold was a standout cornerback for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a two-time Stagg Bowl winner and a Gagliardi semifinalist in 2014.
“I think everyone’s ultimate goal is to do it at the highest level,” Grayvold said. “I said I wanted to build this up as high as I could. There were no other high schools that I would have wanted to be at. When a college like the one that reached out reaches out — it’s an opportunity that I don’t think you can turn down.”
The Blackhawks were 0-18 during Grayvold’s two years as head coach and have lost 19 consecutive games.
“I was certainly supportive of him accepting the position,” Fort Atkinson athletic director Steve Mahoney said. “I know Brady’s long-term goals and when an opportunity like this comes along it’s a good position personally.
“If that’s what our goals are then I think we as a community are going to take pride in helping him achieve those goals.”
Grayvold’s last day as an at-risk coordinator in Fort Atkinson High School is Friday. The School District of Fort Atkinson posted the hiring position on the Wisconsin Education Career Access Network on Monday.
“Timing is never great, but for this, we have eight months until we start another football season,” Mahoney said. “For situations like this, we need to make sure we take care of the kids. We need to make sure they’re getting the support in the weight room, help with college recruiting, everything.”
Glenn Caruso took over as head coach of St. Thomas in 2008 and has led the Tommies to the NCAA championship game twice. St. Thomas is one of four schools in NCAA Division III over the last 19 seasons to play in more than one Stagg Bowl.
The Tommies lost to Mount Union in the 2012 and 2015 Stagg Bowl.
St. Thomas has won six MIAC titles in Caruso’s 12 years as head coach.
The Tommies were 8-2 last year in their second-to-last season in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In May, the MIAC Presidents’ Council announced it was removing St. Thomas from the conference because of competitive parity.
“When they want you to come learn from them and help build something, there aren’t too many opportunities like this,” Grayvold said. “I think this is a top 15 school in the country that’s transitioning from Division III to Division I. I told the kids I wasn’t just leaving for a college coaching job, this is a special place to be.”