The 2019-20 season marked the 19th for Kathy Lanese as cross country and track coach at Case Western Reserve. She has led the Spartan cross country teams for the past 18 years and served as an assistant for the track & field program for 12.
The longest tenured female coach at the university, Lanese was appointed for her second stint at CWRU on June 5, 2001. Until 2006, she also served as head coach for the women’s track & field team.
Lanese helped lead the 2019 men's cross country team to an NCAA Championship berth for the second-straight year, the first time the program has accomplished the feat in back-to-back years since the 1970's. The Spartans placed 24th overall at the national meet, and were fourth at the Great Lakes Regional Championships, as Trey Razanauskas, Robert St. Clair and Yoshmar Pinal-Alfaro each earned all-region honors. In addition, St. Clair was named the Ohio Freshman of the Year, while Jack Begley was selected as the UAA Rookie of the Year. Lanese guided the 2018 team to the best finish by the men's squad in 15 years at the NCAA Championships, with the team placing 21st overall at the National Championship meet. The squad also placed fourth at the Great Lakes Region Championships, and saw three of its runners - Razanauskas, David Hall and Zach Roshon - earn all-region honors. On the women's side, Lanese helped Madeline Lindemann earn all-region honors and qualify for an individual berth to the NCAA Championships in both 2018 and 2019.
Lanese has coached a total of 14 NCAA All-Americans in cross country and track. She guided Esther Erb, 2008 NCAA Champion in the women’s 10,000-meter run, and has led multiple distance runners and relay teams to school record-breaking performances. In addition, four of Lanese’s cross country runners have received NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships, and one was a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year award in addition to receiving the Fullbright Scholarship in Vienna, Australia.
During her career, Lanese has earned a multitude of coach of the year awards. She has been tabbed Ohio Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Coach of the Year seven times (most recently in 2013), USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year once (2006) and head of the UAA Women’s Cross Country Coaching Staff of the Year twice (2006 and 2008).
Under Lanese’s tutelage, CWRU cross country has also been represented at the NCAA Championship Meet in each season since 2006. That streak includes five consecutive qualifying years for the women’s team from 2006-2010. During that stretch, the Spartan women finished in the top 10 twice, including 2007, when the team finished sixth in the nation – one of the highest national finishes for any Spartan athletic team in school history. In 2008, both the men’s and women’s squads ran at the NCAA Championship, marking the first time that the two competed concurrently at that meet.
Lanese first came to CWRU in 1990 when she was named the head women's cross country coach and assistant track & field coach. She left the university briefly in 1993 to pursue a position in sports medicine, but she quickly returned to the coaching ranks as women’s cross country and track & field head coach at Cleveland State University from 1994-96. Lanese moved on to serve in the same capacity at John Carroll University from 1996-2001.
In addition to coaching, Lanese has served as a member of the Behavior Health Committee and has served on the Women’s Leadership Council at the university level. She also served as the President on a national level for the USTFCCCA for Division III Cross Country and is active in speaking on mental training tools for athletes and coaches. She has held the positions of President of the Ohio Track and Cross Country Coaches and Vice President of the USTFCCCA. Lanese, a 2010 graduate of the NCAA Women’s Coaches Academy, also attends the USTFCCCA Women's Coaching Summits yearly.
A graduate of Ohio University, Lanese was a scholarship athlete who competed in middle-distance and distance events. She was a member of a Bobcat track team that won two consecutive Mid-American Conference Championships (1983-84) and the All-Ohio Cross Country Championship in 1982. Individually, Lanese finished 11th and 14th, respectively, at the MAC Championship and was a member of the record-setting 3,200-meter relay and distance medley relay teams. During her senior year, Lanese was named captain of both the track and cross country teams. She was voted the team's most improved runner in 1985 and also set a Bobcat indoor record in the 1,500-meter run that still stands today.
Lanese received her Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition from Ohio University and both her certification in athletic training and her graduate studies in exercise science from Cleveland State.
Lanese resides in Shaker Heights and has two children, Evan and Kasey. Evan is a graduate of CWRU.