Ciara Kissane joined the Forester staff in 2017 as an assistant coach in cross country and distance track and was named the head coach of both programs in 2018.
The Lake Forest cross country teams matched the program's best combined finish at the Midwest Conference Championship Meet in 2018, placing third in the men's team standings and fifth on the women's side for the second year in a row. Yaneli Guajardo was the runner-up in the women's race while Jorge Villanueva led three All-MWC (top 20) men with a third place finish. Two weeks later Villanueva was 29th at the NCAA Division III Regional Meet to become the first runner in school history to earn a spot in the field at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Three Forester men combined to post 10 of the top 25 times in team history in 2018 while Guajardo added three new marks to the women's list. Exactly half (25 of 50) of the entries in the two categories combined were recorded during Kissane's two seasons on staff.
Lake Forest runners are also successful in the classroom, with 12 women and 8 men named Academic All-MWC in 2018-19, matching the previous year's team for the highest combined total in program history.
In addition to her position as head cross country coach, Kissane fills the same role for the Lake Forest College distance only track team, which began competing as a varsity sport in January of 2018.
Kissane came to Lake Forest from Coe College, where she was the head men's and women's cross country coach and assistant track and field coach in 2016-17. 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.
A 2012 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Kissane spent the 2015 season as an assistant cross country and track and field coach at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. After receiving a master’s degree in sports management from Florida State University in 2013, Kissane has spent time as director of track and field operations at Sacramento State University and in sports administration roles at the University of Buffalo and Wisconsin-Oshkosh.