Three members of the American University track squad have quit in the last month after an unsuccessful team effort to force the dismissal of first-year track Coach Steve Lurie, AU officials said yesterday.

Nine of the 16 team members signed a five-page letter of protest submitted to Athletic Director Bob Frailey and listing complaints against Lurie and his coaching techniques.

The runners then met with athletic department officials, who also reviewed testimony from other area coaches and from runners that Lurie had coached in the past.

According to acting Athletic Director Ray Murphy, "We (the athletic department) told them we would not make any precipitous changes at this time but that Lurie's position would be reviewed in the spring as we evaluate all our coaches."

The nine runners also were termed "conditionally resigned" from the team but were told they were welcome to rejoin after talking with Lurie Six did.

Clark Woods, Steve Weinstein and Frank Carver, all seniors, chose not to rejoin. Each retained his tracks scholarship. None of the remaining team members is a senior.

Lurie came to American in February 1977 after serving as an assistant at Seton Hall and, more recently, Manhattan. He replaced Gary Cohen, last in a series of part-time AU track coaches.

"This was a rather petty thing." Lu-selves with a coach that would brook no disobediance after being in a situation all their careers where they only saw their coach once or twice a week, if they were lucky," said Murphy.

"This was a rather petty thing," Luries said, "It doesn't really bother me. In fact, it (the resignations) makes things easier. I am not at this point ready to change my philosophy . . . "

American University is now on spring break and the athletes were unavailable to comment.