West Virginia hires Shane Lyons as athletic director

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) Shane Lyons has been hired as the athletic director at West Virginia, leaving his job at Alabama to succeed Oliver Luck.

West Virginia President Gordon Gee announced the appointment Monday.

Lyons, a Parkersburg native who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sport management at West Virginia, has been deputy athletic director at Alabama since 2011. His new job begins in February.

Luck left last month to become the NCAA’s executive vice president for regulatory affairs.

Lyons will oversee 18 varsity sports at WVU. The athletic department has 220 employees and a budget of about $77 million.

”We are delighted to welcome Shane Lyons back to his home state of West Virginia and to his alma mater,” Gee said in a statement.

”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,” he said.

Before joining Alabama, Lyons was associate commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. He also served as a membership services representative for the NCAA and was an associate athletic director at Texas Tech.

”It is truly a dream come true for me to return to my home state,” Lyons said in a statement. ”I have followed the Mountaineers closely ever since I left Morgantown after graduate school.”

Alabama football coach Nick Saban said WVU made an ”excellent decision” to hire Lyons.

”Growing up in West Virginia and coaching there, I know it is a very special place and I know how important athletics is to everyone in the state,” Saban said. ”Shane is also a West Virginia native so he understands that passion and what the Mountaineers represent.”