Grant Fisher Leaves Bowerman Track Club After Four Years With Jerry Schumacher

By Chris Chavez

October 20, 2023

American record holder Grant Fisher has announced he has decided to part ways with coach Jerry Schumacher and the Nike Bowerman Track Club.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Fisher made the announcement on Thursday evening with an Instagram post, where he shared the following statement:

“Bowerman Track Club has been a huge and defining part of my life for the past four years. My time there has been transformative for me as an athlete and as a person but I no longer see my best future being with the club moving forward. By far what I’ll miss the most are the wonderful people that I got to be around every day. While I will be in a different training environment moving forward, I know the bonds I’ve made will remain for the rest of my life. Thank you to everyone who continues to support me throughout my career. This is a big change but one that I am excited about and ready for.”

– Fisher’s future training plans have yet to be announced.

– Fisher signed with Nike in 2019 and joined the Bowerman Track Club after graduating from Stanford University, where he was an NCAA champion at 5000 meters. Under Schumacher, he has set personal bests of 3:34.99 for 1500m; 7:45.47 for 3000m; 12:46.96 (American record) for 5000m and 26:33.84 (American record) for 10,000m.

– The Bowerman Track Club posted the following statement to their Instagram page:

“Over the last four years, Grant Fisher has reminded us time and time again that the people we surround ourselves with make us into the athletes we are – on and off the track. As a community, we’re honored to know a friend and teammate as inspiring, humble and genuine as Grant. A friend and teammate who has made all of us better people and athletes - on and off the track. We wish Grant the best in his personal and athletic pursuits as he steps into the next chapter of his historical career. We’ll miss your infectious smile, Grant!”

– Fisher missed qualifying for the 2023 World Championships while dealing with a stress reaction earlier this summer. He recovered in time to close out the season with a 12:54.49 for 5000m at the Zurich Diamond League, a 7:33.32 victory for 3000m in Roveretto, and breaking his own 3000m American record in 7:25.47 at the Prefontaine Classic.

– Fisher competed at the Tokyo Olympics (9th in the 5000m; 5th in the 10,000m) and 2022 World Championships (6th in the 5000m; 4th in the 10,000m).

Grant FisherGrant Fisher

Johnny Zhang / @jzsnapz

The Bowerman Track Club Exodus

The Bowerman Track Club has seen a wave of departures in the past three years.

Colleen Quigley left the team and then signed a pro contract with Lululemon. (May 2021)

Marielle Hall moved to the East Coast to work under coach Kurt Benninger. (Sept. 2021)

Sinclaire Johnson didn’t see a good fit and joined the Union Athletics Club with Pete Julian. (Sept. 2021)

Emily Infeld and Kate Grace left and then joined Team Boss to be coached by Joe Bosshard. (Jan. 2022)

Vanessa Fraser moved to San Francisco for a job but continued to work with Shalane Flanagan. (Aug. 2022)

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford and her sister Lucia Stafford parted ways with the team after Shelby Houlihan’s positive test and suspension for nandrolone. (April 2022)

– 2016 Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz was with the team from 2019 through 2021.

– After Schumacher accepted the Oregon head coach job and decided to move the team from Portland to Eugene, Woody Kincaid (now coached by Mike Smith) Marc Scott (NN Running Team) and Amos Bartelsmeyer (Union Athletics Club) chose to go separate ways.

Who is left on the team?

– Christina Aragon, Moh Ahmed, Elise Cranny, Courtney Frerichs, Evan Jager, Sean McGorty, Thomas Ratcliffe, Karissa Schweizer, Andrea Seccafien, Cooper Teare, Josh Thompson, and Kieran Tuntivate were all on the roster in 2023.

– This summer, the team announced 2022 NCAA cross country champion Charles Hicks, 2023 NCAA steeplechase runner-up Duncan Hamilton and Canadian Olympian Justyn Knight were joining the roster heading into the 2024 Olympic year.

Our Thoughts:

"Fisher hasn’t shared his future group or coaching plans yet – my expectation is he’ll share that exclusive with The Lap Count first when the time comes (please, Grant – I need a win). If I had to speculate though, he’ll spend a lot of time at altitude, and it’ll be with a smaller group of training partners. An Olympic year is not the time to experiment with a new system and therefore I don’t see him joining an already established team – it’s better to stay nimble. There are rumors that others may soon be leaving BTC as well. Who knows if they’ll team up together.

Now, I like this decision. While most athletes wait until a few frustrating years have passed before making any drastic changes, Fisher made moves while still at his peak. A great runner once told me that everyone should change coaches every few years. It prevents the legs from getting stale!

In fact, I’m gonna take things a step further and hop into the Lap Count spin machine… I think losing its top runner is good for all of our Bowerman! It’s better to have a cordial breakup (he got a goodbye Instagram post!) with someone who no longer wants to be there than to have your leader leading while discontent. Like any college coach who has inherited a program knows, the vibes are way better once the team is full of your recruits!

Sure, the new young core of Charles Hicks, Justyn Knight, and Duncan Hamilton is probably disappointed that they won’t have Grant to key off in practice, but that’s a damn good training group in and of itself and that’s not counting all of the Mo Ahmeds, Sean McGortys, and Evan Jagers that are still there. And it’ll only be a few more years until all of Schumacher and Flanagan’s current college athletes are looking for a professional group to join." – Kyle Merber via The Lap Count

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.