Coach Squires, Arthur Lydiard said, “Once Americans ruled the world of marathoning. That’s when Bill Squires was coaching a group of runners in the Boston area. His group was what the Kenyans are today – totally dominating races around the country. Coach Squires is undoubtedly one of the greatest marathon coaches the US has ever seen and indeed one of the best in the world. I am glad to see that he has made his know-how available now in this book. I fully endorse his work and hope this would help revive the American distance running for many years to come.”
Men’s & Women’s Cross Country
Boston State College ’70
What I seek for the runners I coach is their gold medal’ performance. A personal gold medal performance is what might be called a supreme achievement for that individual. For what athletics is all about is the pursuit of excellence. When you have prepared yourself very well for the challenge, and have raced at the peak of your physical and mental resources, there comes a sense of fulfillment and achievement that more than compensates for all the effort. You gain a dimension of character that you can call on whenever you have to.
No one system works for all athletes. The key to successful training is to match the training loads to what the individual athlete benefits from. For some athletes, that might mean more weekly mileage, for another that might mean scheduling two water workouts per week because more running results in breakdown. Generally, we stress the importance of base fitness, the periodization of speed work, and not over racing.
Goals For the Runner and Team
I have goals for our team and I have goals for each individual. For the team, we always have it in our minds to be a top national class team. Locally we have good competition so it usually goes hand in hand that if we can compete in our own backyard we can do very well on the national scene as well. History has proven this. For individuals on my team, I am typically trying to help them move up two or three levels of competition. So that if they are already a strong local performer, I am trying to get them to move up to a national class performer. If the athlete is a strong national class performer, I am trying to get them to an international class level of performance. In other words, I see my job as a coach to help the athlete to improve.
Education and Athletics
I love the sport, but it is no substitute for a good education nor a career. In its place, the sport brings a wonderful zest and excitement to life. But it is critical not to allow the sport to get in the way of the full development of other aspects of life. The primary purpose for attending college is to receive a strong education and to lay the ground work for one’s career. The key to success in athletics and academics is to budget one’s time wisely. We often find that when runners are running well, their academics are going well too. That is because they have their priorities straight and they are focused on what they want to achieve.
Collegiate Coaching Highlights
In his tenure at Boston University, Lehane has coached two NCAA Division I National Champions, 31 All-Americans, and 17 IC4A/ECAC individual champions. Eight of his athletes have qualified for the World Cross-Country Championships. Included in this total is two-time U.S. National Champion Lesley Brady-Lehane (now his wife), who placed fifth overall at the 1987 Cross-Country World Championships to help the United States squad to the team title. Under Lehane’s guidance, the Boston University men’s cross-country team has successfully qualified for the competitive, 22-member NCAA Championship field eight times in the last 13 years. The Terrier harriers have also captured the America East conference title every year since 1989, while the women’s contingent has finished first at seven of the past nine conference championships. Individually, recent graduate Karl Rasmussan 98 thrived under Lehane’s guidance, winning the America East cross country title an unprecedented four times – 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1997. The success of Lehane’s athletes on the track and cross country paths is obvious by an inspection of the Terrier track and field record books and honor rolls. On the men’s side, Lehane has helped Terrier athletes establish ever y Boston University record from the 800 meters (1:46.59) through the 10K (28:21). On the women’s side, his competitors have also eclipsed the former school marks in every event from the 800M (2:03.37) through the 10K (32:41). In recognition of his numerous accomplishments, Lehane was named the District I Cross Country Coach of the Year in each 1993, and 1996, while he has similarly been cited as the America East Coach of the Year on seven occasions, including 1997.
Born and raised in Boston, Lehane graduated from Boston State College in 1970 with a B.A. in English and Secondary Education. Coached on the collegiate level by the renowned Bill Squires, he set school records in the 800- and mile runs, and earned N.A.I.A. All-American honors in both his junior and senior years. He later earned a master’s degree in reading and language from the University of Lowell. After teaching developmental and remedial reading for five years in the public schools of Maine, Lehane began his collegiate coaching career at Boston University in 1982. Lehane and his wife Lesley, who is a former Terrier runner, reside in Brookline and have three sons: Aidan, Elliot and Blaize.