WEST VIRGINIA NAMES LYONS DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama Director of Athletics Bill Battle announced Monday that Shane Lyons, Deputy Director of Athletics/Chief Operating Officer, will be leaving the University to become Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President at West Virginia University. Lyons was announced to the position at WVU on Monday. Lyons, who served in the position at Alabama since November of 2011, will transition to his new post over the next few weeks.
“Shane’s leadership, decision-making and professionalism will be sorely missed by me and the entire Athletics Department, but we are all very excited for Shane, Emily, Cameron and Brooke on the opportunity for them to go back to Shane’s alma mater in such an important role,” Battle said. “I have no doubt that Shane is ready to take on this next opportunity in his career. Not only is he ready as a professional person, but his ability to work with people will make him an exceptional athletics director. I wish him nothing but the best at West Virginia.”
“Shane Lyons has been a very valuable member of the UA Athletics department,” said University of Alabama President Dr. Judy L. Bonner. “His commitment to the success of our student-athletes is unwavering and always his first priority. I appreciate his service to The University of Alabama and wish him continued success.”
“It has been very special to play a small part in such a tremendous time in Alabama Athletics,” Lyons said. “I hope that I have helped the department continue to advance in its mission. This was already a great place when I arrived, and we have continued to have amazing success. It has been a joy to work with our student-athletes, coaches and staff over the last three years. During our time here, Tuscaloosa and the Capstone have truly become a home to us. It truly took a special opportunity to come along for us to even consider leaving.
“However, it just so happens that an opportunity that is special to me on a personal and professional basis did, indeed, come my way recently when WVU contacted me about the Director of Athletics opening. As many of you know, I am a native West Virginian, having grown up in Parkersburg, West Virginia. I also am a graduate of WVU, from which I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees before beginning my career in athletics administration.”
Over the past three years at Alabama, Lyons has provided day-to-day strategic leadership and direction for all facets of the Department of Athletics in support of the Director of Athletics, including the department’s approximately $120 million budget and daily monitoring of compliance and oversight of the Crimson Tide’s 21 sports teams. Lyons also played a pivotal role in a historic renegotiation of Alabama’s multimedia rights agreement that started in 2014; a deal that is one of the most lucrative contracts of its kind.
The Department of Athletics has more than 275 employees and approximately 525 student-athletes. Lyons also has been involved in several significant capital projects for the Crimson Tide, including the Sarah Patterson Champions Plaza, the Football Strength & Conditioning Complex, renovations to the Football office complex of the Mal Moore Athletics Facility, a complete renovation of the Sam Bailey Track & Field Complex, a new rowing boathouse and a rebuilding of Alabama baseball’s Joe Sewell Stadium. All told, those projects have encompassed more than $85 million of capital improvements to Alabama Athletics facilities.
Since Lyons’ arrival in late 2011, the Crimson Tide has won seven national team titles in five different sports (two in football, two in men’s golf, one in women’s golf, one in gymnastics and one in softball). Lyons has also played a crucial role in the hiring of Crimson Tide head coaches in four sports (women’s basketball, gymnastics, men’s tennis and swimming & diving).
Prior to his appointment at Alabama, Lyons served as the Associate Commissioner at the Atlantic Coast Conference for ten years. He oversaw the compliance, governance and student-athlete programs areas for the conference office. In addition, he was responsible for the oversight of the employee benefit plans and human resources area for the conference staff. He served as the conference’s primary liaison to the Council of Presidents and the Faculty Athletics Representatives. Lyons was also a member of many prominent committees within the NCAA Governance Structure during his tenure at ACC. He was the chair of the NCAA Legislative Council, a member of the Academics Eligibility Compliance Cabinet, chair of the Recruiting Subcommittee and chair of the Legislative Review and Interpretations Committee.
Before joining the ACC, Lyons was an Associate Athletics Director at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas for three years. He was responsible for oversight of the compliance department, served as the administrator for six Olympic sport programs as well as the administrator oversight for three athletic department staffs.
After beginning his career in collegiate athletics in 1988 as the Assistant Commissioner of the Big South Conference for almost one and one-half years, Shane moved to Overland Park, Kansas where he became a member of the NCAA national office staff. He remained at the NCAA from 1989 to 1998, first as a Legislative Assistant then as a Membership Services Representative and finally as a Senior Membership Services Representative.
Lyons earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management from West Virginia University in May 1987 and August 1988, respectively. He and his wife, Emily, a University of Wisconsin graduate, are the proud parents of two children, son Cameron (15) and daughter Brooke (11).