|Born||1952 (age 62–63)
|Position(s)||C / K|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Floydada HS (DC)
FW Boswell HS (DC)
West Texas A&M
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
Lone Star Conference (1991, 2005, 2007)
AFCA Region Four Coach of the Year (2007)
After playing four years at Eastern New Mexico University, Carthel began his coaching career under legendary coach L. G. Wilson at Floydada High School in Floydada, Texas. He later coached at University of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa, and Boswell High School in Fort Worth, Texas, until getting his first head coach job at Lubbock Christian College (now Lubbock Christian University). In 1983, Carthel became assistant under Bill Yung at the University of Texas at El Paso. While at Lubbock Christian College, Carthel was the youngest head coach in all of college football.
Head coaching career
In 1985 Carthel took over head coaching duties at his alma mater Eastern New Mexico. In his seven seasons the Greyhounds had only one losing season. After a 5–5 record in Carthel's initial season, the Greyhounds were 8–3 in 1986 and 9–2 in '87. They were 2–8 in 1988, but followed with records of 7–3, 6–4 and 7–3–1. In five of Carthel's seven years, the Greyhounds were ranked in the Division II Top 20 Poll. In 1991, the ENMU won the Lone Star Conference championship. Carthel was inducted into the ENMU Hall of Fame in 2001.
Having reached the pinnacle of his career as a head coach, Carthel chose to retire at age 39, and moved back to the family farm in Friona, Texas. He took a pause from football coaching for nine years, before becoming a volunteer coach at Abilene Christian University under head coach Gary Gaines in 2000. Trying to become a head coach again, Carthel applied for the vacant West Texas A&M job in late 2001, but athletic director Ed Harris opted for Ronnie Jones. In 2004 Carthel was named the head coach and general manager of the Amarillo Dusters in their inaugural season in the Intense Football League. Amarillo posted a 15-3 record under Carthel and won the IFL Championship that year.
West Texas A&M fired Jones after three unsuccessful seasons, thus Carthel applied for the job again. This time, he was selected as head coach. In his first year, he guided the school to its first Lone Star Conference Championship in 19 years. He has since compiled a 33–5 record, which is the highest winning percentage of any West Texas A&M coach since Alonzo P. George's 3–0 record in 1918. As of 2008, only Joe Kerbel (68–42–1) and Frank Kimbrough (54–52–2) won more games for West Texas A&M than Carthel.
At West Texas A&M, Carthel ran an “Air-Raid offense” very similar to Mike Leach's offense at nearby Texas Tech. After guiding West Texas A&M to its second undefeated regular season in school history, Carthel was named 2007 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region Four Coach of the year. On August 22, 2013, it was announced that Carthel had been fired by the university.
Head coaching record
|Lubbock Christian Chaparrals (Sooner Athletic Conference) (1981–1982)|
|Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds (Lone Star Conference) (1985–1991)|
|1985||Eastern New Mexico||5–5||3–2|
|1986||Eastern New Mexico||8–3||3–3|
|1987||Eastern New Mexico||9–2||4–2|
|1988||Eastern New Mexico||2–8||0–6|
|1989||Eastern New Mexico||7–3||5–2|
|1990||Eastern New Mexico||6–4||5–2|
|1991||Eastern New Mexico||7–3–1||5–1-0||1st|
|Eastern New Mexico:||44–28–1||25–18|
|West Texas A&M Buffaloes (Lone Star Conference) (2005–present)|
|2005||West Texas A&M||10–2||9–1||1st||L Division II 2nd Round|
|2006||West Texas A&M||11–2||8–1||1st||L Division II 2nd Round|
|2007||West Texas A&M||12–1||9–0||1st||L Division II 2nd Round|
|2008||West Texas A&M||11–2||8–2||2nd|
|2009||West Texas A&M||6–5||6–3||5th (South)|
|West Texas A&M:||50–12||40–7|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
- Former farmer revives career at West Texas A&M
- WT hires new coach: Sunray native Jones chosen over Carthel, others
- After hiatus, coach has West Texas A&M soaring
- GoBuffs.com: Carthel Named AFCA Region Four Coach of the Year
- "Don Carthel ousted as WT football coach". Amarillo Globe-News. August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
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