St. Thomas is moving toward its first Division I season, and the Tommies welcomed a major milestone with the announcement of their first non-conference opponents.
The announcement lead with a Sept. 18 game this coming season at Northern Iowa. The non-scholarship Tommies will take on one of the top programs in FCS in Year 1, a Panthers program that has enjoyed winning campaigns 33 times since 1983 and reached the FCS quarterfinals in 2019.
"I've been able to witness the character and growth of teams exemplified in how they decide to propel themselves forward, and who they choose to play," head coach Glenn Caruso said in a statement. "We're not a team that shies away from elite competition. We have much work to do, and we also have a proud family of players, staff and administration who are equipped with the focus, mental toughness and passion to tackle that work."
St. Thomas will complete an unprecedented D3-to-D1 jump this fall, joining the Summit League in Olympic sports and the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League. But in addition to Northern Iowa (UNI will make a return trip to St. Paul on Sept. 7, 2024), St. Thomas will also visit South Dakota on Sept. 9, 2023 and North Dakota on Sept. 5, 2026.
"The scheduling of these future games is the result of the combined efforts of many, and the culmination of those efforts should make our Tommie community even more excited to begin our Division I transition this July," said AD Phil Esten. "These teams represent some of the best at the FCS level, both in competition and game-day experience, providing an opportunity to continue the great Tommie Football legacy. We're thankful for these opportunities, and we look forward to establishing new traditions."
St. Thomas's inaugural PFL schedule will be announced at a later date.
In the meantime, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.