Jim Lear is entering his 16th season as the head coach of Duquesne's men's cross country team and his 12th season of involvement with the track and field program working with the distance runners.
After steadily climbing in the Atlantic 10 cross country standings throughout his tenure, Lear's Dukes have finished no lower than third in seven of the past eight years. In fact, he guided the Red and Blue to second place finishes in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and led the team to its first ever Atlantic 10 Championship in 2005, being named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year as a result. In 2007, Duquesne boasted the University's first Atlantic 10 cross country champion and NCAA Championship qualifier in Tom Slosky. Mike Stolar, who finished third at the 2009 Atlantic 10 Championship, was the program's second NCAA qualifier.
Lear came to Duquesne in 1994 and was promoted to head coach in 1996 after two campaigns as an assistant. He brought with him a wealth of experience and success to the program and is also a men's outdoor track and field assistant coach, working with the distance runners.
During his tenure at Duquesne, Lear has seen numerous runners be named either Atlantic 10 Performer or Rookie of the Week and has had 21 Atlantic 10 All-Conference performers in the past 12 years, including five in 2005 and four in 2010.
Lear's runners also excel in the classroom as evidenced by the numerous Academic All-Americans the program has had and the Academic All-Conference accolades his student-athletes have collected.
A former track and cross country runner himself in high school and college, Lear began his coaching career in 1975 as the head cross country and track coach at Central Catholic. He coached the Vikings for nine years and also had a one-year simultaneous stint as assistant track coach at Carnegie Mellon University in 1981-82, where he produced his first All-American performer.
Following his tenure at Central Catholic, Lear worked for one year as coach at Mercersburg Academy in Central Pennsylvania before accepting the position of assistant track coach in charge of distance runners at the University of Pittsburgh in 1985. During nine seasons at Pitt, Lear guided two additional athletes to All-American status and was involved with the only Pitt cross-country team to ever qualify for the NCAA Championships in 1990.
Lear resides in Wilkins Township with his wife Debbie and has three daughters, LeAnne, Kaitlin and Jessica.