MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia native and current Deputy Director of Athletics at the University of Alabama Shane Lyons, has been named director of Intercollegiate Athletics and associate vice president at West Virginia University, effective in February, President Gordon Gee announced today (Jan. 5).
Gee said Lyons, with nearly 30 years of administrative experience in intercollegiate athletics, is one of the most respected and skilled professionals in the field with extensive knowledge in strategic planning, compliance and policy implementation at the conference and national levels.
“We are delighted to welcome Shane Lyons back to his home state of West Virginia and to his alma mater,” Gee said. “He brings a wealth of experience in both university and conference athletics administration. In addition, as a graduate of West Virginia University, Shane understands what it means to be a Mountaineer. We look forward to him joining our team and leading our athletic department to new heights.”
Lyons has spent the past three years working closely on day-to-day strategic leadership and direction with Alabama athletic directors – the late Mal Moore and current Athletic Director Bill Battle.
“It is truly a dream come true for me to return to my home state and to WVU as director of intercollegiate athletics and associate vice president. I would like to thank Dr. Gee for the confidence he has placed in me,” Lyons said. “I have followed the Mountaineers closely ever since I left Morgantown after graduate school, and I have been consistently impressed with the success that WVU student-athletes have had on the playing fields and in the classroom, as well as the positive impact Mountaineer student-athletes have in the community.
“I am also impressed by the University’s continued commitment to student-athlete welfare, particularly regarding the major facility improvements that the athletic department has accomplished. I look forward to maintaining and enhancing the momentum generated by that commitment.
“As a leader, I will continue to push our department to strive for excellence in everything we do, and I am looking forward to the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead. I am inspired by the unparalleled support of Mountaineer Nation, and my family and I are very excited to become part of the Morgantown community.”
At WVU, Lyons will have oversight of 18 varsity sports, a department budget of approximately $77 million, 220 employees, approximately 450 student-athletes and a facilities master plan that includes ongoing construction of a $21 million baseball park, in addition to more than $75 million to modernize other athletic venues.
During his time at Alabama, responsibilities included oversight of a $120 million budget, daily monitoring of compliance and oversight of the Crimson Tide’s 21 sports teams. In addition, he played a pivotal role in a historic renegotiation of Alabama’s multimedia rights agreement that started in 2014 and is involved in several significant capital projects totaling more than $85 million.
The Crimson Tide also won seven national 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. He also has played a critical role in the hiring of four head coaches.
Prior to joining the Alabama staff in November 2011, Lyons spent 10 years as an associate commissioner at the Atlantic Coast Conference. At the ACC, Lyons focused on conference-wide compliance and academic initiatives, providing direct assistance to the conference’s presidents, chancellors and athletics directors in matters dealing with NCAA regulatory matters.
In addition, he served as the ACC’s human resource manager and was responsible for the administration, negotiation and mediation of the employee benefits program and managing the conference’s organizational policies and procedures. He was part of the administrative team for ACC events, including the football championship game, the men’s basketball tournament and men’s and women’s NCAA basketball events. He also completed a term as chairman of the NCAA’s Division I Legislative Council in addition to serving on other committees.
Prior to working at the ACC, Lyons served as associate athletics director for compliance at Big 12 member Texas Tech from 1998 to 2001. During that time, Lyons assumed responsibility for the leadership, administration and implementation of a comprehensive NCAA compliance program with emphasis toward rules education and extensive monitoring systems. He also served as oversight administrator for several of the Red Raiders’ athletic teams and had financial and operational supervision of the strength and conditioning, nutritional and sports medicine units.
Before joining Texas Tech, Lyons worked at the NCAA as a senior membership services representative, where he was responsible for the oversight and coordination of the 25 membership service representatives.
Lyons began his career in college athletics in July 1988 as assistant commissioner of the Big South Conference. With the Big South, he was in charge of conference-wide compliance and championships.
A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, and a graduate of Parkersburg High, Lyons was a standout basketball player for the Big Reds. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sport management from WVU in 1987 and 1988, respectively.
He and his wife, Emily, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have two children: Cameron, 15, and Brooke, 11.
Lyons has a five-year agreement through February 2020, and will earn a yearly compensation of $550,000, plus incentives.
He is the University’s 12th athletic director, replacing Oliver Luck, who resigned in December to accept a position with the NCAA. Keli Cunningham is currently serving as interim director.
WVU’s Directors of Athletics
Anthony Chez, 1904-13
E.R. Sweetland, 1913-14
George Pyle, 1914-17
Harry Stansbury, 1917-38
Roy “Legs” Hawley, 1938-54
Robert “Red” Brown, 1954-72
Leland Byrd, 1972-78
Richard Martin, 1978-81
Fred Schaus, 1981-89
Ed Pastilong, 1989-2010
Oliver Luck, 2010-2014
Release via – WVU Sports Information