Steve Scott

Birthday: 05/05/56 Mile PR: 3:47.69 - 1982
Metric Mile (1500m) PR: 3:31.76 - 1985
High School: Upland HS '74
Hometown: Upland, CA
College: University of California, Irvine '78
Current Residence: Lake Kiowa, TX

Steve Scott was one of the USA's most consistent middle-distance runners ever, recording an astounding 137 sub-4 minute Miles (includes official Mile split from 2000 meter race in 1982), the most by any athlete in history. He set the outdoor U.S. Mile record three times, all in Oslo, Norway, all sub-3:50 (3:49.68 - the first U.S. sub-3:50, 3:48.53 and 3:47.69) and all within a one year period.

Scott also broke the indoor U.S. Mile record three times (his last mark 3:51.8 lasted nearly 24 years before Bernard Lagat broke it in 2005) as well as the U.S. 1500m outdoor record twice.

The holder of eight Mile times under 3:50 was the USA 1500 meter champion six times as well as the USA Indoor Mile champion four times.

Scott's last U.S. Mile record was 3:47.69 set in Oslo, winning the Dream Mile on July 7, 1982 and he held the outdoor U.S. Mile record for more than 26 years - longer than any man. In addition, the UC-Irvine grad was the NCAA 1500m champion in 1978 and the three-time U.S. Olympic team member finished 5th at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and 10th at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

In 1983, Scott won the 1500m silver medal at the inaugural World Championships held in Helsinki, Finland, and was also a two-time Dream Mile (1982-83) and 5th Avenue Mile champion (1983, 1988).

In 1999, he was selected as the first Head Cross Country and Track & Field coach at Cal State San Marcos in California; Scott retired at the end of the 2018 track season.

FUN FACT: In 1986, Scott helped create the Carlsbad 5000 in California, the world's fastest 5K road race with 16 world records and counting! He set two of those WRs: 13:32, 1986 and 13:31, 1988.

FUN FACT II: At the 1977 Prefontaine Classic, Scott recorded the event's first sub-4 minute Mile, edging fellow legend Marty Liquori, 3:57.9 to 3:58.0.

FUN FACT III: Steve Scott also produced at least one sub-4 minute Mile for 17 consecutive years (January 15, 1977 to February 20, 1993); only New Zealanders John Walker and Nick Willis have longer streaks (18 years and 20 years).

FUN FACT IV: Of his all-time record 137 sub-4 Miles, 89 were clocked outdoors and 48 indoors (the most ever), and his first, 100th and last sub-4 were run in Los Angeles, and the first & last indoors. Also, Scott ran 56 of his 137 sub-4s in his home state, California, another all-time record. #GreatScott!



Steve Scott One-Upped Himself at 1978 NCAAs

October 13, 2020

UC Irvine Anteater secures NCAA DI title with strong frontrunning tactics at historic Hayward Field


Steve Scott had no chance to win a fourth-straight NCAA Division II Mile / 1500 meter title in 1978.

That’s because his school, UC Irvine, had moved up to Division I.


Read More comments

Catching up with Steve Scott: Master of the Sub-4 Mile

March 31, 2020

"I believe one of the keys to my later success was that I wasn't pushed in high school."

By Steve Brand, MileSplit CA

Steve Scott is America's greatest Miler. Not the fastest anymore, but the greatest.

Consider that in his running career, which didn't really take off until he was a...

Read More comments

Mile Great Scott: Even pacing key at Pearl Street, Mile High Miles

August 05, 2019

Advice to young runners gleaned from his coaching years includes patience, relaxation and trusting in your coach.

By Mike Sandrock, Daily Camera

There have been athletes from 71 countries running faster than 4 minutes for the Mile since Roger Bannister first broke the historic barrier on May...

Read More comments

Mile legend Scott taking a new path in life

June 18, 2018

Retired CSU-San Marcos coach has moved with wife JoAnn to Pacific Grove, near Monterey, where he continues to run and enjoys the cooler conditions while he ponders his future.

By Nick Canepa for the San Diego Union-Tribune

It was a February night in 1977, when we really, honestly cared about...

Read More comments

Two-Time Olympian Steve Scott Retiring as CSUSM Head Coach

April 22, 2018

Mile legend the university's first cross cross country and track & field coach since 1999; on campus retirement open house on Thursday, May 10

From Cal State San Marcos

Two-time Olympian Steve Scott, the only cross country and track & field coach in Cal State San Marcos' history, announced...

Read More comments

The Training of Mile Legend Steve Scott

April 02, 2018

“Get over it.  If you have a bad workout or a bad race, allow yourself exactly 1 hour to stew about it, then move on.”

By Runner's Tribe

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series.  Part 1 looks into Steve Scott’s training during the later stages of his career. By this stage, Steve had already amassed...

Read More comments

Seven training tips from Mile legend Steve Scott

October 24, 2017

Learn to race the competition, not the clock.

By Jeff Benjamin,

Steve Scott started out as a basebal player. His mom got Steve into running, encouraging him to join her morning jogs. In high school, the future U.S. Olympian ran 1:52 for the 800 meters and 4:15 for the Mile in...

Read More comments

Take Five: Mile legend Steve Scott returns each year to participate in Spirit Run

March 09, 2017

"If I can expose them to running and show them that it’s fun, then to me that’s rewarding."

By Tom Johnson, Stu News Newport

Had a chance to catch up with Steve Scott last week. Scott obviously is one of the greatest runners in American history. The three-time Olympian attended college at...

Read More comments

The man, the myth, the legend: Steve Scott

April 29, 2016

Scott’s perseverance and dedication to the sport of running has helped athletes at CSUSM meet their full potential. This year, he is looking forward to taking his track & field team to the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships held at Cal State Los Angeles in May.


Read More comments

Mile Moment of the Month: Steve Scott’s Dream Mile 1982

July 07, 2014

In thrilling race against top field, the legend again breaks his U.S. record in Oslo, Norway

By Bring Back the Mile

A Mile is four laps on the track that some have called the perfect distance and a four-act play. Oslo's Bislett Games Dream Mile in the 1980s was the pinnacle of this classic...

Read More comments

Going Head to Head: Who is the Greatest Miler in History?

September 20, 2012

By Barbara Huebner, NYRR News

Some of the greatest Milers in the world have won the Fifth Avenue Mile presented by Nissan, which will be run for the 32nd time on Saturday. Sydney Maree, Steve Scott, Mary Slaney, John Walker, Peter Elliott and Bernard Lagat are among those who have broken the...

Read More comments

Track Debate: Mile or 1600?

May 04, 2012

The magic of the Mile apparently will never go away, and some coaches and runners want the 1600 to change back to the Mile, which is slightly longer. 

By Steve Brand, 

In his career, Steve Scott ran a record 137 sub-4 minute Miles. Chances are, no one will ever break that mark...

Read More comments

Master of the Mile

October 28, 1996

Steve Scott, now 40 and a cancer survivor, plans to break 4 minutes again

By John Walters, Sports Illustrated

Steve Scott stands at the starting line on the track at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, in Eugene, on May 26, 1996. He has 4 minutes to prove to himself that he is immortal....

Read More comments

Miles to Go Before They Sleep…

February 28, 1983

...and a promise to keep in Cleveland. Eamonn Coghlan and Steve Scott raced in San Diego, then flew all night to meet again

By Kenny Moore, Sports Illustrated

Eamonn Coghlan (3:50.6) and Steve Scott (3:51.8) are the two fastest indoor Milers in history. They hadn't met indoors for two years,...

Read More comments

Who’s the World’s Best Miler? Steve Scott Won’t Take Coe (or Ovett) for An Answer

September 28, 1981

“Steve’s greatest assets are his strength and resilience. He can run three days in a row and be as strong the third day as the first.”

By Joe Fares, People

As a freshman member of the Upland, Calif. high school track team, Steve Scott savored the pleasures of life in the slow lane. “I didn’t...

Read More comments

Ovett’s 3:49.25 Wins Oslo Mile as Seven Runners Better 3:51

July 11, 1981

''It's the best Mile the world's ever seen." - Steve Ovett

By Neil Amdur, New York Times

OSLO, Norway — The Mile moved to a new frontier tonight when seven runners shattered 3 minutes, 51 seconds, led by Steve Ovett's winning 3:49.25 and an American record 3:49.68 by Steve Scott, who was...

Read More comments

As We Join Our Show, Steve, Is, As Usual, Running

June 22, 1981

Can young Steve Scott, Miler and soap opera junkie, find happiness and success with a world record? You can bet he'd like to find out

By Kenny Moore, Sports Illustrated

Call it the Seven-Per-Cent Problem. A Miler running at 15 mph—or 4 minutes per Mile—spends a tenth of his energy just...

Read More comments

Return the Mile to prominence on the American & worldwide sports and cultural landscape by elevating and celebrating the Mile to create a movement.

Bring Back the Mile as the premier event in the sport, and increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public.

Bring Back the Mile to celebrate the storied distance and to recognize the people who made and make the Mile great and to promote Mile events and the next generation of U.S. Milers.

Bring Back the Mile to create a national movement for the Mile as America’s Distance,
to inspire Americans to run the Mile as part of their fitness program and to replace the 1600 meters at High School State Track & Field Meets across the country.

Become a Mile Maniac member or a BBTM sponsor today! Join us, and go Mile!

Join Us

Thanks for joining the movement and being a Mile Maniac. We'll keep you up to-date with our Mile wires as well as exclusive contests and opportunities. Help us spread the word by sharing our site and joining us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!