HELENA — Carroll College football had a long reign over the Frontier Conference, including six national championships between 2002-10, though the Saints haven’t had that kind of success in recent memory. The last time Carroll College posted a winning record was in 2014, when it went 10-2.
Following the retirement of Mike Van Diest and the ensuing hiring of Troy Purcell, the Saints needed to find a defensive mind to fill the gap.
Enter, Jared Petrino.
The former Fighting Saints linebacker spent the past three years working as the defensive coordinator for the Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears. In his last year in Billings, Petrino’s defense ranked second in the Frontier Conference in total defense, scoring, passing and rushing defense for the 2018 season, all behind Carroll College.
Now in his first year as a Fighting Saints coach, Petrino thinks he has a slight leg up on the competition because of his experience with Rocky Mountain College.
“I know what personnel is back on teams, I know what they can do, I know what they like to do. There’s a couple new coaches and coordinators across the conference, so that will be an adjustment,” Petrino said. “From a personnel standpoint, it can’t hurt. You know, sometimes guys look one way on film and then in person they look different, so being able to see them in person is definitely an advantage, it definitely helps.”
The Saints and their new defensive coordinator will get their first opportunity to use their newfound advantage on Sept. 7 in Dillon against Montana Western.