James Kearney | Assistant Coach | Track and Field – Cross Country | Lewis University

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

The qualities we look for when looking at student athletes are people who first and foremost are academically astute and are willing to dedicate themselves to a certain lifestyle that it takes to become not only an excellent distance runner but disciplined enough to leave here ready for the working world. We are always looking for HIGH IMPACT LOW EGO people. No one person is as big as this team, we have the mantra of T.O.E. (team over everything) and for some that’s hard to understand, but those that buy in and know these things coming through the door are quick to succeeed and leave Lewis University with the best four year experience they possibly can.

Willingness to accept the Lewis-Way involves these 5 key Factors:

1. Humility

2. Passion

3. Unity

4.  Servant hood

5. Thankfulness.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

Kids that have exceeded expectations are not only what we thrive on at D2,  but in the sports of cross country and track and field.  I think the reasons kids go above and beyond here at Lewis are because they 1. Live the Core Values I stated earlier, 2. Place the team before ANY individual success (you get individual accolades because the team pushed you there)  3. Embracing the process of growth and Learning from mistakes, and 4. Demonstrating toughness in every circumstance.  By staying humble and serving your teammates we develop a bond that stretches far beyond a bad race or rough patch of training.  Kids that are willing to push one another take pressure off of themselves and see the big picture much easier. When we get greedy is when we cloud our judgment.