Casey Kear - Women's Cross Country Coach (2024)

• 2022Big West co-Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year

Casey Kearis in his sixth season as UC Irvine's cross country/distance coach after joining the staff in August 2019.

Last year, Kear saw two of his student-athletes - Sameen Andar and Lukas Amare - make the All-Big West Cross Country Team for the second year in a row. Andar, Amare and Anna Vogtmann also received Big West Athlete of the Week honors during the season. On the track, Andar had a podium finish in the 10,000m at the conference meet, while Vogtmann (1500m), Amare (10K) and Joshua Schuld (Steeplechase) also scored in their respective events. Andar qualified for her second career NCAA West Preliminary in the 10K.

During the 2023 track & field season, Kear’s distance squad produced three All-Big West awards and two NCAA qualifying marks. Sameen Andarset a meet record to win the women's 10,000m title at the Big West Championships, while she was third in the 5,000m.Hannah Chau added a third-place finish in the steeplechase. As a team, the UCI women scored 33 points in the distance events at the conference meet. Andar and Evelin Meza both advanced to the NCAA West Preliminary in the 10K. Earlier in the season, Andar broke a 37-year-old school record in the 5K with a time of 16:13.12, and Chau bettered her own standard in the steeplechase at 10:20.11. Andar also set program bests in the indoor 3,000m and 5,000m.

During the fall, Kear was named the 2022 Big West co-Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year after leading the Anteaters to a runner-up finish. They came in one point behind Cal Poly at the conference championships. UC Irvine had a league-leading three All-Big West performers with Anna Vogtmann (19:52.8), Sameen Andar (19:57.6) and Hannah Chau (20:01.0) placing among the top eight. The trio ran the three fastest 6K times in program history. On the men's side, Lukas Amareearned All-Big West honors and clocked UCI’s third-fastest 10K at the NCAA West Regional. Zeid Hussain also tied a school record in the 8K at 23:47.0.

In 2022, Kear'swomen's distance crew totaled31 points to help the 'Eaters to their first top-three finish at the Big West Track & Field Championships since 2014. Hannah Chauled the way, claiming runner-up honors in the steeple where she broke a 13-year-old school record at 10:28.19. Chau was back on the track four hours later, placing third in the 10,000m. Anna Vogtmannalso took second in the 1500m at the conference meet, and registered UCI's second-best 5K at the Bryan Clay Invitational.

In 2021, Kear mentored Chau, who wontheindividual Big West title in the 10K. Chau crossed the finish line in 34:53.13, which was the third-fastest winning time in Big West Championshiphistory. She became the Anteaters’ first conference champion in the 10K since 2002, and moved up to fourth on UCI’s all-time charts.

In his first season with the Anteaters in 2019-20, KearcoachedChau to All-Big West honors in cross country as she took fifth at the conference meet. After the cancellation of the 2020 season, Chau picked up right where she left off, earning her second All-Big Westaward.

In the classroom, both the men's and women's cross country squads have been named aUSTFCCCA All-Academic Team in each of Kear'sfiveseasons (2019-23). They have also combined for 63Big West Fall All-Academic honors since 2019.

Prior to his arrival at UC Irvine, Kear spent two seasons as the assistant distance coach at Long Beach State. During his time at the Beach, he helped develop a Big West Men's Freshman of the Year and two all-conference performers in cross country. On the track, he coached the 2019 Big West men's steeplechase champion. LBSU also won the Big West team title in men's and women's track & field during his tenure.

Kear was previously a volunteer assistant at Nebraska. While on the staff from 2014-17, the Huskers claimed three Big Ten track & field championships. The distance group had six NCAA West Regional qualifiers and combined for 14 performances that landed on the program's all-time top-10 list.

Kearalso served as an assistant coach at Point Loma Nazarene (2013), and as the head girls' cross country/assistant track & field coach at San Juan Hills High School (2011-13).

Kear had a standout collegiate career himself as he was a three-time NAIA national qualifier in the 3000m steeplechase at Point Loma. He was also a two-time Golden State Athletic Conference champion, winning the steeplechase in 2010 and the 4x800 relay in 2008.

Kear graduated from Point Loma with a bachelor's degree in biblical studies in 2010, and went on to earn his master's degree in coaching and athletic administration from Concordia University (Irvine) in 2013.

Casey Kear's Coaching Ledger - Women's Cross Country

YearSchoolBig West FinishNCAA West Regional Finish
2023UC Irvine5th (110)19th (546)
2022UC Irvine2nd (64)14th (398)
2021UC Irvine4th (100)16th (450)
2020*UC Irvinen/an/a
2019UC Irvine5th (140)27th (805)

* Season canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Casey Kear - Women's Cross Country Coach (2024)
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