A distance runner for more than 40 years, Coach Mearns was an accomplished high school, collegiate and international class distance runner (at Yale, NYAC-New York Athletic Club, and the Ohio Track Club). Coach Mearns recruited and coached many All-American men and women at NCAA Division I powerhouses University of Virginia and University of Kentucky. In the 1980’s, as an attorney and agent with the world’s premier sports agency (IMG), Coach Mearns managed dozens of Olympians, world record-holders, and many of the world’s top distance runners and triathletes (including Sebastian Coe, Alberto Salazar, Bill Rodgers, Mary Decker Slaney, Anne Audain, Craig Virgin, Mark Allen, Scott Molina and many, many others).
For more than 20 years since retiring from the management of elite, professional athletes, Coach Mearns has helped parents, coaches, high school teams and club programs improve the performance, attitudes and college opportunities for young distance runners. Through proven principles, programs and practice strategies, Coach Mearns has developed and grown runners (including five of his own children) into some of the top youth and high school distance runners and teams in the country. In fact Coach Mearns and his wife Kate’s five kids all competed at the college level – at University of Virginia, Richmond, William & Mary, CNU and NYU.
Through his “Growing Runners” programs in the past 7 years, Coach Mearns has produced six high school national champions, many high school and club all-Americans, numerous team and individual state champions (in cross country and all indoor and outdoor track distances from 300 meters to 3200 meters, including the 4×800 relay). In addition, Mearns has coached Paralympic medalist, world and multi-American record holders in Rio last fall. Since 2010, Growing Runners champions have enrolled and competed for teams at the University of Virginia, Columbia University, University of Tennessee, Villanova, American University, Air Force Academy, George Mason, Northwestern, West Point, New York University, Christopher Newport, William & Mary, University of Oregon, Georgia Tech, James Madison, George Mason and Lynchburg College.