TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Veteran athletics administrator Shane Lyons is returning to the University of Alabama as executive deputy director of athletics while holding the appointment as chief operating officer, athletics director Greg Byrne announced Monday.
Lyons, who has served as West Virginia’s director of athletics and associate vice president for the past eight years, served as associate director of athletics for the Crimson Tide from 2011-2015.
“Shane is a highly respected collegiate athletics administrator who brings a variety of experiences and a wealth of knowledge to Alabama,” Byrne said. “We are thrilled to have Shane back in Tuscaloosa to join our leadership team.”
With 35 years of track and field administration experience, the 2021 NACDA Athletics Director of the Year is recognized as a leader in the field having held positions at the national level as well as two NCAA Division I FBS institutions and two Division I conference bureaus.
“I want to thank Greg Byrne for this great opportunity to return to the University of Alabama,” said Lyons. “I have great respect for Greg and Alabama Athletics and look forward to returning to Tuscaloosa. My previous time in Alabama provided me with great opportunities, and I look forward to joining Greg’s team and helping the Crimson Tide continue to have one of the best and most successful divisions in the nation.”
While at Morgantown, Lyons oversaw a department with 18 varsity sports, 250 staff and about 500 student athletes while serving on the President’s Executive Leadership Team. In 2021, as part of his master plan for the Climbing Higher facilities, he unveiled a complete overhaul of WVU Football’s Milan Puskar Center and opened a new Olympic sports performance center. He also oversaw the opening of a $45 million waterway and running track facility that benefits both WVU and the local community.
Under his supervision, WVU established a Clinical and Sport Psychology department with a full-time director and professional interns, added specialized learning assistants to the Student-Athlete Development department, and formed a partnership with WVU Medicine’s Neuroscience Department to improve the training and recovery of to support student athletes.
Academically, WVU athletics boasted an overall GPA of 3.22 and had a division-high of 361 student-athletes on the Big 12 Commissioner’s roll of honor a season ago.
Lyons has been heavily involved in committees at both the national and conference levels, most recently as Chair of the Division I Council and as a member of the NCAA Transformation Committee, the NCAA Constitutional Committee and the NCAA Working Group on Transfers. He also served as chairman of the Division I Football Oversight Committee in 2021 and served on the committee from 2018-21. Other committee work includes Big 12 Athletic Directors Council, Big 12 Game Management and Officiating Subcommittee, and Big 12 Administration, Finance and Budget Committee.
During his first term at Tuscaloosa, Lyons oversaw the budget and day-to-day management of the department while supporting the vision and leadership of Alabama Athletics. He played a pivotal role in a historic renegotiation of Alabama’s multimedia rights agreement that began in 2014 and has been involved in the hiring of head coaches and several significant capital projects totaling more than $85 million.
Prior to joining Alabama, Lyons spent 10 years as an assistant commissioner at the Atlantic Coast Conference, where he focused on conference-wide compliance and academic initiatives and assisted the conference presidents, chancellors and athletic directors in situations involving NCAA regulatory matters , provided direct support. Lyons also served as Human Resources Manager of the ACC and was responsible for administering, negotiating and facilitating the employee benefits program and managing the conference’s organizational policies and procedures. He was part of the senior administration team for ACC events including the soccer championship game, the men’s basketball tournament, and the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball events.
From 1998 to 2001, Lyons was Associate Athletics Director of Compliance at Texas Tech. During that time he was responsible for directing, managing and implementing a comprehensive NCAA compliance program with a focus on rules education and extensive monitoring systems. In addition, Lyons served as a supervisor for several Red Raiders track teams and had financial and operational oversight of the strength and conditioning, nutrition and sports medicine units.
Prior to joining Texas Tech, Lyons worked for the NCAA for nearly 10 years as a senior member service representative, where he was responsible for overseeing and coordinating the rules and interpretations for the 25 member service representatives and serving as a liaison to various NCAA standing committees .
Lyons began his collegiate athletics career in July 1988 as the assistant commissioner of the Big South Conference, overseeing conference-wide compliance and championships.
A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Lyons graduated from Parkersburg High. He was a standout basketball player for the Big Reds. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sports management from West Virginia in 1987 and 1988, respectively.
Lyons and his wife Emily, a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student, have two children, Cameron and Brooke. Cameron is a graduate student-athlete and a member of the soccer team at UNC Charlotte and Brooke is a sophomore at WVU.