Tom Palkowski
Tom Palkowski
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 651-962-5927

Now starting his 32nd season in coaching, 2019 National Coach of the Year Tom Palkowski will begin his 13th season as the Tommies' head coach in 2019-20.

Palkowski, who coached his 300th career game in 2018-19, has guided St. Thomas to a 66-percent win clip (202-87-36), including rare 20-win seasons on four occasions capped by a school-record 25 victories last winter. His last six UST teams have won nine conference playoff (five) or regular-season (four) championships, and advanced to play in two national semfinals playoff contests.

He has guided athletes to 12 All-America honors in the last 12 years, including three in a row by goalie Alise Riedel. 

The 2018-19 Tommies soared to the first No. 1 national ranking in program history. After a 25-1-2 start and a berth in the national semifinals, an injury sidelined All-America goalie Kenzie Torpy for the team's final two games at the national tournament, and the Toms closed with 3-0 and 1-0 losses. St. Thomas had a two-season unbeaten streak peak at 37 games, including a 22-0-2 start last winter. Torpy and Demi Cooper were voted to the All-America team. and Torpy was voted as the program's first CoSIDA Academic All-America.

During 2013-2014, Palkowski guided the Tommies to the program’s first NCAA Frozen Four berth in its 16-year varsity history. That was just their second NCAA playoff trip, and UST’s 5-0 road victory over No. 5-ranked UW-Stevens Point was the program’s first NCAA playoff victory. The Tommies lost 1-0 in overtime to eventual champion Plattsburgh State in the national semifinals, then finished fourth in the country after falling 5-3 to UW-River Falls in the third-place game. Despite playing most of her senior season with a torn ACL, Riedel set an NCAA Championships record with 63 saves in the 1-0 defeat to Plattsburgh State.

The 2014-2015 team placed second in the MIAC and won the conference playoff title to advance to the NCAA playoffs for the second straight year. They lost to Plattsburgh State and ended the season tied for fifth place in the nation.

The 2015-16 Tommies won the MIAC conference title, and again advanced to the NCAA playoffs to share fifth-place nationally.

The 2016-17 Tommies won the MIAC playoff title as the No. 4 seed, and again advanced to the NCAA playoffs where they lost 4-2 to No. 1-ranked Plattsburgh State.

The 2017-18 Tommies shared the conference title as it went unbeaten over its last 13 games (8-0-5).

Under Palkowski and predecessor Kevin Gorg, who coached UST its first nine varsity seasons, UST has posted 19 consecutive winning seasons and has become a consistent top-15 Division III program. St. Thomas has won 76 percent of its games in MIAC play since 2000 (248-61-38).

A former Tommie men's hockey star player, Palkowski also has a 20-year resume as an hockey assistant coach. The Columbia Heights native previously served 11 seasons in the boys' programs at Columbia Heights, Totino-Grace and Mounds View high schools and served as Gorg’s top assistant at UST.

Palkowski played one season at Illinois-Chicago and then competed three seasons at St. Thomas, where he helped the Toms post a 50-13-1 record in his first two seasons with a pair of MIAC championships and two NCAA playoff berths. Despite playing just 93 games in three seasons, Palkowski still ranks seventh on the UST career scoring list with 168 points (71 goals, 97 assists). Five of the six players ahead of Palkowski played four seasons.


Tom Palkowski Year-By-Year

Year---------Overall-------MIAC (Place)

2007-08-----21-6-0-------14-4-0 (2nd)

2008-09-----18-5-3-------14-2-2 (2nd)

2009-10-----14-9-3-------12-4-2 (3rd)

2010-11-----11-10-5------10-4-4 (2nd)

2011-12-----15-9-2-------11-6-1 (3rd)

2012-13-----14-8-2-------13-4-1 (2nd)

2013-14-----20-7-3-------14-2-2 (1st)

2014-15-----14-10-4------11-3-4 (2nd)

2015-16-----20-6-2-------12-4-2 (1st)

2016-17----14-11-4-------9-5-4 (4th)

2017-18----16-3-6-------12-1-5 (tie 1st)

2018-19----25-3-2-------15-1-2 (1st)

Totals/202-87-36 (.677)---147-40-29 (.749)