EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Following a national search, SIUE Director of Athletics Dr. Brad Hewitt has announced that an agreement has been reached, making Sean Lyons SIUE's head baseball coach.
"Our candidate pool was incredibly strong," Hewitt said. "I thank our search committee, led by Jaci DeClue, for its work. Our finalists were outstanding. We ultimately felt that Sean was the best fit for the program, our Department and the University.
"I'd especially like to express my gratitude to several of our alumni who assisted with the search," Hewitt continued. "Roger Belshe, Tim Hogan, John Lakin, Bill Lee, Ed Kopff, John Moad and Chad Opel were very invested in the process."
Lyons comes to SIUE after most recently serving as the associate head coach at Bradley.
"I'm extremely excited to be a part of SIUE athletics and to become the next baseball coach," Lyons said. "I'm grateful to Dr. Hewitt and to the committee for giving me this opportunity."
Lyons becomes the fourth head coach in program history.
"I believe the potential is here for SIUE to compete at a high-level and I am looking forward to be able to facilitate that," Lyons added.
A native of Byron, Illinois, Lyons just completed his seventh season on the Bradley baseball staff where he served as recruiting coordinator and hitting instructor. The 2016 season was his first as the program's associate head coach. This season, the Braves ranked No. 9 nationally averaging 2.32 doubles per game. The Braves were third in the Missouri Valley Conference with a .283 batting average and 116 doubles.
In 2015, Bradley earned an at-large berth to the NCAA championship, and the Braves' .311 batting average was the best team mark for the tournament.
Lyons recruited and coached four Major League Baseball draft picks, coached four Louisville Slugger Freshman All-Americans, and 14 first or second team All-MVC selections while at Bradley. Under Lyons, Mike Tauchman was tabbed as the 2013 Joe Carter MVC Player of the Year.
No stranger to the Ohio Valley Conference, Lyons spent six seasons on the Eastern Illinois staff before moving to Bradley. The Panthers won the OVC tournament title in 2008 and were OVC regular season champions in 2009. Also in 2009, the Panthers ranked second in the nation in hitting with a .362 batting average.
At Eastern Illinois, Lyons coached four MLB draft picks, three Freshman All-Americans and eight OVC first team members.
Lyons played for Eastern Illinois from 1996-1999, leading the Panthers in hits for three straight seasons. He was selected as one of Eastern Illinois' 20 greatest OVC athletes during the Panthers' celebration of their first 20 years in the OVC.
"It's exciting to get back in a league with teams and coaches that I am familiar with," Lyons continued. "It will be fun to be back to competing in the OVC, a great baseball league."
He earned a Bachelor of Science from EIU in 1999.
Lyons and his wife Jill have a daughter, seven-year old Maleah and a son, two-year old Landry.
The hiring of Lyons is pending final approval through the SIUE Human Resources Office.
"Sean is a tremendous human being. He is a great coach, but a better person. I was blessed to have him here as long as I did. He's a rising star. He'll pour his heart and soul into that program. There are great days ahead for SIUE."
Elvis Dominguez, head baseball coach, Bradley
"I said it when I introduced Sean for the Hall of Fame at Eastern Illinois - the two eras in which we won at EIU, Sean was involved either as a player or as a coach. Sean is a winner. He's a great character guy. He is a great motivator and a great recruiter, but above all he is a winner. SIUE has gotten a really good person and a great family. I'm excited for Sean and excited for the program."
Jim Schmitz, former head baseball coach, Eastern Illinois
"As an alum, I'd like to welcome Sean Lyons to SIUE. He will certainly energize the program. He is a great recruiter who knows how to win and how to build a program and he will engage the SIUE community."
Darin Hendrickson, head baseball coach, Saint Louis, SIUE baseball alumnus
"As a member of the search committee, I saw the whole process. We had a lot of great interest as we should have. This is a phenomenal job. We had it down to two great finalists. I'm excited to have Sean on board. I think he'll do an amazing job. I'm excited for him to get started."
Chad Opel, SIUE baseball alumnus, Athletics Hall of Fame member