Boston U Track and Field Coach Bruce Lehane Went the Distance for His Athletes |

Katie Matthews ran for five years for BU’s longtime head cross country coach and assistant director of track and field Bruce Lehane, who died September 23. She can still reel off her best times if you ask. She now runs professionally with the Boston Athletic Association’s High-Performance Team. But ask her which advice of Lehane’s mattered most and she veers off track.

“Bruce would always talk about the relationships you build in life and helping other people and giving back,” Matthews (Sargent’12,’14) says. “Thinking about that made me realize that I wanted to do something besides running professionally.”

Last November, Matthews added a part-time job to her résumé, using her BU degrees as a speech and language pathologist at a sensory integration center in Newton to help children with autism and others to overcome a variety of speech and language disorders. It’s satisfying making a difference in their lives, she says, even a small one.

“Bruce always did a great job of making sure you were well-rounded as a person and helping you know that you could do more than one thing,” says Matthews, who wrote a tribute to Lehane in the online running magazine Citius September 25.

Lehane, who was 68, had been battling ALS. He will be remembered at a Marsh Chapel memorial service tomorrow, November 1, at 6 p.m., led by his friend Rev. Jeri Katherine Warden Sipes (STH’10). Among the speakers will be 1968 Olympic gold medal hurdler David Hemery (Questrom’68, SED’88) and Drew Marrochello, BU director of athletics. Sipes says that Lehane “was one of those people you meet and you know you’re going to be lifelong friends.” A reception will follow at the Track & Tennis Center.

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