Track and Field will return to VT and YSU for a second time this season
Jim Lear begins his second stint at the University of Pittsburgh. Lear oversees the long distance and cross country runners. Lear was an assistant at Pitt from 1985-94, before accepting the head cross country coaching job at Duquesne University.
Most recently, Lear helped guide the women's cross country team to a first place finish at the 2013 ECAC Women's University Division Cross Country Championship.Hillary Boxheimerled the Panthers in the 5K course with a time of 18:20.8 and individually placed third overall out of 162 competitors.
Lear helped the cross country men's and women's teams place third at the Penn State Spiked Shoe Invitational. Cullen Davis led the men and Dee Dee Adams was the top finisher on the women's side for the Panthers.
Under Lear's tutelage, sophomore Rachel Brown claimed her first individual victory at the St. Vincent Invitational this season, while the women's cross country team placed second in the team standings. The men's cross country team highlighted the season with a fifth place finish at Pre-Nationals and Davis led the squad in fourth individually.
In his 17 years at Duquesne, Lear built the program into consistent A-10 title contenders. Lear led the Dukes to second place conference finishes in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2011. He also helped Duquesne win its first ever A-10 Championship title in 2005.
In 2007, Lear coached Duquesne's first ever A-10 individual champion and NCAA Championship qualifier in Tom Slosky. He was also an NCAA finalist, an All-American in 2007 and a three-time NCAA qualifier in the 3,000m steeplechase in 2006-08. In addition to Slosky, Lear guided two more Dukes to NCAA Cross Country qualifying times, Mike Stolar in 2009 and Jim Spisak in 2012. Lear also helped numerous students achieve Academic All-American status during his tenure.
In Lear's first stint at Pitt, he helped Keith Dowling qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championship Meet in 1989 and 1990. Dowling was an All-American and placed 12th at NCAA's in 1990.
Lear began his coaching career in 1975 as the head cross country and track and field coach at Central Catholic. He spent nine years at Central Catholic before accepting a job at Mercersburg Academy where he spent one year prior to joining the Pitt staff.
Lear and his wife Debbie have three daughters, LeAnne, Kaitlin and Jessica.