Sean Lyons begins his third season as an assistant coach at Bradley in 2012 and his ninth year overall as a college coach. Prior to joining the Braves for the 2010 season, Lyons spent six years as the Eastern Illinois defense and infield coach, recruiting coordinator and also worked extensively with EIU's hitters. In addition to his coaching experience, Lyons played for the Panthers from 1996-99.
Lyons' move to Bradley has coincided with NCAA restrictions on bats and the Braves have adopted well to a new style of play. Incorporating speed into their game, the Braves have swiped 172 bases in Lyons' first two seasons for the second- (94 in 2011) and third-best (78 in 2010) single-season totals in program history.
Under Lyons' tutelage, the 2009 Eastern Illinois squad ranked second in the nation with a .362 batting average, third in slugging percentage, eighth in homeruns per game and ninth in scoring. The Panthers finished 36-14, earning the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and the school's first ever top-30 national ranking.
Eastern's 2008 team captured the OVC Tournament championship, earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers defense turned 52 doubles plays during the season, 12 more than opponents, and scored 17 runs in two NCAA Regional games.
In 2007, the Panthers batted .299 as a team and had the fewest number of strikeouts in the OVC. Eastern Illinois' defense led the OVC in fielding percentage and double plays turned in 2006, while the team batted .304 and recorded the fewest number of K's in the conference.
In his six seasons at EIU, Lyons recruited and coached four Major League Baseball draft picks, two Freshman All-Americans, one Academic All-American, one mid-season All-America and one OVC Player of the Year.
"Not only is he very knowledgeable, but he is a tremendous communicator, which allows him to be an excellent teacher of the game," said Bradley head coach Elvis Dominguez. "This, along with the passion he has for the game and his work ethic, will pay off dividends for our baseball program. I have no doubt our players will benefit from him and what he brings to our program."
A Byron, Ill. native, Lyons began his coaching career at Liberty (Mo.) High School where he served as an assistant for two years before returning to his alma mater. As a player at EIU, Lyons was a three-time All-OVC outfielder and still holds the school's career record for runs scored (182). He led the Panthers in hits for three straight seasons (1997-99) and twice led the team in doubles (1998-99) and runs scored (1997-98).
Lyons and his wife, Jill, have one daughter, Maleah.