April 19, 2012
Allendale, Mich. - Grand Valley State head baseball coach Steve Lyon announced today that he will retire following the 2012 season. Lyon, who is in his 14th year as the leader of the Laker baseball program, was hired on May 15, 1998. Grand Valley State Director of Athletics, Tim Selgo, said a search for his replacement will begin immediately.
The 59-year-old Lyon has guided GVSU to 10 straight NCAA DII Midwest Regionals, eight NCAA DII Midwest Regional title games, five NCAA DII Midwest Regional titles, five NCAA DII World Series appearances and the team played for the 2004 National Championship in the previous 13 years at the helm. In addition, the Lakers have won eight of the last nine Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles. Grand Valley State has won 40 or more games six times during his tenure, including a school-record 52 games in 2011.
"We would like to thank Steve for his incredible contribution to not only the GVSU baseball program, but Grand Valley State University," said Selgo. "His record as head coach and where he has taken our baseball program speaks for itself. Our program has played at the highest level of Division II baseball, but Steve has also been a great mentor to the young men he has coached. His teams not only excelled on the diamond, but they also excelled off the diamond and in the classroom. He will be missed, but we wish him well in his retirement," added Selgo.
With three weeks left in the regular season of his 14th year, Lyon has guided GVSU to a record of 535-199-2 (.728) mark at Grand Valley State and a 648-300-3 (.683) overall college coaching record. He is eighth on the DII active winning percentage list (648-300-3/.683) and is one of 25 active DII head coaches to reach the 600-win mark. Lyon, the 2007 and 2011 FieldTurf DII National Baseball Coach of the Year, is a five-time recipient (2003, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2011) of the ABCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year award. He has guided Grand Valley State to the third-best winning percentage of all DII schools (.740) since 2000 with a 505-178-2 mark. GVSU is 409-127-1 (.765) the last 10 years with five NCAA Division II World Series appearances (2003 (T-5th), 2004 (2nd), 2005 (T-3rd), 2009 (T7th) and 2011 (T7th)). GVSU is one of two teams in all of DII baseball to appear in each of the last 10 NCAA DII tournaments. His 2004 squad played in the National Championship game where the Lakers dropped a 12-8 decision to Delta State. Lyon has tutored 45 ABCA All-North Central/Midwest Region performers and four ABCA All-Americans.
"I just felt like the time was right for me to step down and I always felt that if I thought about retiring, then it was time for me to retire and not prolong the process," said Lyon. "My wife (Sandy) and I have enjoyed our 14 years at Grand Valley State. I would like to thank the Grand Valley State athletic administration, fellow GVSU coaches and the school administration for the support they have given me and my baseball program during my time as head coach. I also want to say a special thanks to the players I have coached during my tenure at GVSU. We accomplished a lot in my time as head coach both on and off the field and I have so many great memories of each and every season," added Lyon.
The 2012 Grand Valley State squad, ranked 11th in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll, is currently 26-10 overall and leads the GLIAC with a 16-6 mark. GVSU will play at Findlay this Saturday (April 21) and Sunday (April 22) in a GLIAC four-game series. GVSU will close out the regular season home slate versus Wayne State April 28 and 29 at the Laker Baseball Field.
Grand Valley State is 305-107-2/.740) in GLIAC action under Lyon. The Lakers are 226-65-2/.779) in GLIAC play the last nine-plus years, including eight GLIAC titles and seven-of-the-last-eight tournament titles. Lyon has coached 116 All-GLIAC performers during his 13 years as head coach, including 61 first-teamers. In addition, Lyon has produced two GLIAC Player of the Year honorees, three Pitcher of the Year award winners and four Freshman of the Year honorees. Lyon was named the 2003 and 2011 GLIAC Coach of the Year.
In 2011, GVSU recorded its best season in school history in terms of wins and winning percentage, finishing 52-5 overall with a trip to the NCAA DII World Series for the fifth time in his career. The Lakers tallied a 34-1 mark in GLIAC conference play, becoming the first team in conference history to win more than 30 conference games in a single season. The Lakers went undefeated in the GLIAC and NCAA Midwest Region Tournaments, part of a 32-game winning streak. GVSU had two All-Americans as Cody Grice and Kyle Schepel were each bestowed with the honor. Grice was the Midwest Region Player of the Year by the ABCA, Daktronics and NCBWA and Lyon was the Midwest Region Coach of the Year and GLIAC Coach of the Year. Following the season Lyon was named the 2011 FieldTurf Baseball Division II Coach of the Year.