Ciara Kissane Elevated to Head Coach of Forester Cross Country and Track

Photo by Abby King
Photo by Abby King

Lake Forest College Director of Athletics Jackie Slaats announced Wednesday the promotion of Ciara Kissane to head men's and women's cross country and track coach. She replaces Dan Simpson, now the head cross country and assistant track and field coach at North Park University.

Kissane was an assistant for both programs in 2017-18 and helped lead the Forester cross country teams to top-half finishes at the 2017 Midwest Conference Championship Meet. The men (3rd) and women (5th) matched the best league placing in program history and five were named All-MWC. The College added track (distance events only) to its slate of varsity programming and had a conference title in one event and added 10 other top-10 finishes at its first appearance at the MWC Championships.

Prior to coming to Lake Forest, Kissane was the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach for a year at Coe College. Her cross country teams combined to post 10 new entries on the Kowawks' all-time performance list and, in the classroom, earned the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team Award for having a GPA over 3.10. Her coaching career also includes a year as an assistant cross country and track coach at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, which also fields a distance-only track program. In addition, she has spent time as a director of track and field operations at Sacramento State University and in sports administration roles at the University of Buffalo and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Kissane is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and she added a master's degree in sports management from Florida State University in 2013.

"I am looking forward to leading the Lake Forest cross country and distance track teams and would like to thank Jackie Slaats for giving me this opportunity," began Kissane. "This is an exciting time as we enter the second year of varsity track competition and look to build on our past success in cross country."

"Coach Kissane has done a great job helping to lead our cross country and newly-added track programs over the last year," noted Slaats. "We were very fortunate to have a coach of her caliber already on staff and I am confident she will step into this new role and continue to help our talented runners reach their potential. I also want to thank Coach Simpson for everything he has done here over the last six years and wish him the best as he moves into the next stage of his coaching career."

A search to fill Kissane's vacated assistant coach position will begin immediately.