As a new decade approaches, let’s take a look back at the 2010s and the teams who established themselves as the kings and queens of the fall season.
We selected programs for this list based primarily on the number of championships won in their sport over the past decade.
Here are five of the most dominant NCAA fall sports programs in the last ten years.
Concordia-St. Paul Women’s Volleyball – Division II
The Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears started the decade off hot as they took home the title four straight years from 2010-2013, setting a new record of seven-straight NCAA DII tournament championships. They won every title from 2007-2013 and were a strong two-seed heading into the 2014 tournament before being knocked off by Southwest Minnesota State in the second round. They ended up tacking on two more championships in 2016 and 2017. Led by their coach, Brady Starkey, the Golden Bears jumped out to a scorching start at the beginning of Starkey’s tenure as Concordia-St. Paul finished his first season, in 2003, 27-3 and made a run in the post-season finishing runner-up. Starkey has an all-time record of 499-49 with Concordia-St. Paul.
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North Central (Ill.) Men’s Cross Country – Division III
Similar to Concordia-St. Paul, North Central’s men’s cross-country program is led by their historic coach, Al Carius. Carius has recorded 19 NCAA Division III team national championships, six of which have come in the 2010s. The Cardinals took home team titles in 2011, 2012, 2014 and finished the last three seasons strong taking home three straight titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This isn’t the first decade Carius and his brigade of long-distance runners have dominated, as the Cardinals won five titles in the 1990s.
Adams State Men’s Cross Country – Division II
Adams State is another cross-country program that has recorded six titles in the past decade. Busting out of the gate at the start of the 2010s with a title in 2010, the Grizzlies also won men’s team titles in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Similar to their DIII powerhouse counterpart, North Central (Ill.), Adams State also has relied on its tradition of successful coaching to lead them to dynasty status. Coaching for the Grizzlies since 1988, Damon Martin has led both men’s and women’s teams to 36 National Championships — 19 with the women’s team, 10 with the men’s and eight more with track and field teams.
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Grand Valley State Women’s Cross Country – Division II
Although the women’s cross-country team for Adams State took home seven consecutive national titles in the 2000s, the 2010s were Grand Valley State’s time to shine, as the Lakers have won six championships this decade. Unlike other programs on this list, Grand Valley State’s dominance in the world of women’s cross country truly began at the start of this decade. Head coach Jerry Baltes got his start with the Lakers 21 years ago but wasn’t able to notch his first title with the women until 2010. Since then, Baltes and the Lakers haven’t slowed down, as they won titles in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018 as well. Baltes also established himself as a nationally recognized coach across Division II athletics winning seven Division II Women’s Program of the Year awards, as well as having the award named after him.
North Dakota State Football – FCS
When it comes to FCS football, it has by far been North Dakota State’s decade. The only two years in the 2010s where North Dakota State did not emerge as the champions were in 2010, when Eastern Washington knocked off Delaware and in 2016 when James Madison beat Youngstown State. But in any other year this decade it has been all Bison, as they have cemented themselves as being one of the best college football dynasties of all time. They are the only college football program to win five consecutive NCAA national championships along with being the only FCS team to win seven titles, all of which came in the 2010s.