Former Terrapin letterwinner Kevin Kearns enters his 39th season on the Maryland staff, his 11th as an administrative assistant after spending 27 years as an assistant coach. In 1970, while a captain of the wrestling team, Kearns was drafted into the United States Army. After wrestling for the All-Army wrestling team, he served with the 101st Airborne Division in an LRRP (Long Range Reconnasisance Patrol) team in Vietnam and Laos in 1971.
When the 101st Division went home in Dec. 1971, Kearns was held over as "mission essential" and sent to the 1st Calvary Division to run LRRP teams into Cambodia.
Upon his completion of military duty, Kearns returned to the Maryland wrestling program in 1972-73 and assisted Coach John McHugh and Coach Sully Krouse over three years. He also wrestled for the Baltimore Central YMCA those years and won the National YMCA Greco-Roman Championship, the prestigious New York Athletic Club Greco championship and two South Atlantic AAU freestyle championships.
After receiving his degree, he moved to Minnesota to train and wrestle for the Minnesota Wrestling Club and the United States Greco Roman team. He wrestled at 163 pounds for the Minnesota club which won the National AAU Team Championship in 1976.
Returning to Maryland in 1976, Kearns was named head coach at Dulaney High School in Timonium, Md. In 1977, he was selected to take the head coaching position at Johns Hopkins University, but returned to Maryland in 1980.
Since 2004, the Kevin R. Kearns Award has been given to the senior wrestler who has contributed the most to wrestling at the University of Maryland.
Kearns was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.