Alabama’s Shane Lyons to replace Oliver Luck as WVU Director of Athletics
Shane Lyons, the current deputy athletics director at the University of Alabama and Parkersburg native, will be named as the successor to the departing Oliver Luck as the new Director of Athletics at West Virginia University as soon as today.
Since Luck’s announcement on December 17, Keli Cunningham, the Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director, filled the role of interim Director of Athletics until a replacement was named by West Virginia University.
Lyons, who earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at WVU, has never been athletic director before taking over at the university, but brings a great deal of experience during his 26 years being a part of college athletic programs and conferences.
Lyons began his career as associate commissioner of the Big South Conference, moving on to work in the NCAA’s membership office in Indianapolis and working in a variety of roles for a number of Power Five teams and conferences. He then moved on to being associate athletic director of compliance at Big 12 rival Texas Tech, and starting in 2001 spent the next decade under Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford, which saw the conference expand with additions of Miami, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Syracuse to bolster the league.
Since 2011, Lyons has been in an administrative role at Alabama, where he first helped then-athletics director Mal Moore before being passed for the job when the latter picked Bill Battle as his successor, a former Crimson Tide player.
As for his new role at West Virginia, Lyons will have a number of issues brought to his attention surrounding the athletics program on his first day on the job. From construction and renovations to facilities across campus to coaching contracts like Dana Holgorsen and Bob Huggins to the never-ending disputes over the program’s affiliation with IMG College, Lyons will have his plate full in Morgantown.
On top of that, West Virginia also needs to fill a coaching vacancy with the volleyball program after Jill Kramer’s departure to her alma mater, TCU, where she took over as new volleyball coach in Fort Worth.
With his experience within the NCAA and Power Five conferences, Lyons has the knowledge to lead a top-tier program like West Virginia, but will remain to be seen if he keep the university trending in the right direction in the footsteps of Luck.