A standout in two sports at Saint John’s, Brandon Novak was a two-time All-American on the football field and a three-time All-American and the 2001 Division III national champion on the wrestling mat. Novak was named the MIAC’s Most Valuable Player as a linebacker for legendary coach John Gagliardi in 1999. Less than two years later, he won the national wrestling title at 197 pounds in March 2001. Novak dominated his way to a 23-1 record that season, earning the Carl Larson Trophy as the most valuable wrestler at the MIAC Tournament. His career winning percentage of .871 (101-15 record) is still the best in SJU history.
Post-graduation, Novak returned to his alma mater as a coach in both sports, serving as a defensive assistant on the gridiron while taking the reins as head coach of SJU wrestling for a decade. He was inducted into the Division III National Wrestling Coaches' Association (NWCA) Hall of Fame in March 2017.