A specialist in kicking … and giving
Over the course of his University of Minnesota football career, senior placekicker Emmit Carpenter has ascended the ranks of Gopher kicking greats. His 51 field goals are third best in program history, and he’s the only kicker to connect on two field goals of 50-plus yards in a game twice. He’s also the Gophers’ most accurate kicker of all time, converting field goals at a rate of 79.7 percent.
All of which has Carpenter dreaming of splitting uprights at the next level. “I going to keep kicking footballs until someone tells me to stop,” he grins. “If that doesn’t work out, I have a beautiful degree from the Carlson School of Management to fall back on.”
Carpenter also has a noteworthy history of giving back to the community that goes back to his grade-school days in Green Bay, Wis. His mom would take him to volunteering activities, which at first felt like a chore. But “the more mature I got I really started to look forward to doing those things,” he says.
That’s probably been the biggest blessing of my time here in Minnesota—the opportunity to reach out and get involved in the community, and do some things that can make a really big difference in people’s lives.
He joined a group of Gopher specialists with its own tradition of giving and furthered the cause. Carpenter has made frequent visits to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, as well as to area schools, where he has helped with math, reading, and an anti-bullying campaign.
“As an athlete, the platform you have access to and the network of people you have to help is unbelievable,” he says. “That’s probably been the biggest blessing of my time here in Minnesota—the opportunity to reach out and get involved in the community, and do some things that can make a really big difference in people’s lives.”
For his many charitable efforts, he was nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy (for community service and athletic/academic achievement) and the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.
Carpenter has had many memorable moments on the field, most recently when the Gophers pummeled Wisconsin 37-15 in his home state (a game in which Carpenter kicked three field goals while fighting the flu), ending the Badgers’ long string of victories.
But his community service has been equally memorable, and he lights up when recounting his favorite moment.
“Earlier this fall I had an experience I’ll never forget,” he says. “We were in this little girl’s hospital room, and she was probably 3 or 4 years old. And while we were in the room with her family a doctor came in and told her that after two years of waiting, she was finally getting a heart transplant.
“Just to be in the room when the family gets to experience something like that is … just incredible. I kind of get chills just talking about it right now.”
With a beautiful degree in hand and a beautiful perspective on what’s important, Carpenter should do all right at the next level.