Student-athlete cumulative GPA of 3.373 is a new high for the department.
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Extensive upgrades to county-owned softball field and tennis courts where Seton Hall competes.
Report highlights the many advances, accomplishments and supporters of Seton Hall Athletics.
Since being named the Seton Hall's Vice President and Director of Athletics & Recreation on Feb. 22, 2011, Patrick G. Lyons has been dedicated in his efforts to implement his vision for Seton Hall's athletics and recreation department by introducing a number of initiatives designed to enhance the college experience for Seton Hall's 14 NCAA Division I athletics programs and the student body as a whole.
In Lyons' four full years as Director of Athletics, the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund, Seton Hall's athletic fundraising vehicle, experienced the most success in its history. Pirate Blue received record contributions in consecutive years to fund critical initiatives to help ensure the Pirates will remain competitive in the BIG EAST conference and at a national level.
When Lyons arrived at Seton Hall, he established improvements and upgrades to the Pirates' athletic and recreation facilities as a primary goal. Thanks in large part to contributions to Pirate Blue and a commitment from the University to make athletics and recreation a priority for the student-body, Seton Hall has begun a large number of those enhancements. Among the most elaborate of the projects was a two-tiered student fitness center that opened in January 2014.
With the help of the Pride & Excellence Campaign, a fundraising initiative Lyons launched to support facility enhancements, several other projects have come to fruition. The men's basketball locker room and women's basketball coaching suite were each renovated during the 2011-12 academic year. In March 2013, Owen T. Carroll Field, home to Seton Hall's baseball and soccer programs, received a state-of-the-art LED video scoreboard. Five months later, Seton Hall opened its new training room, a cutting-edge on-site medical facility for student-athletes that features three 14-foot in-ground Hydro Worx tubs.
The Charles W. Doehler Academic Center for Excellence opened its doors in October 2013. The modernized space dedicated to academic advisement services for student-athletes doubled the size of the previous academic center.
In Spring 2015, the department opened three new facilities. For the first time ever, each varsity team has a dedicated space after the opening of 12 new modern locker rooms. The new varsity weight room is triple the size of its predecessor, is spread out across four rooms and features the best in strength and conditioning equipment. The team video film room was built in amphitheater style and features the latest in projection technology.Construction is underway for 12 brand-new varsity locker rooms, creating a dedicated space for each athletic team for the first time ever.
Committed to enhancing the student-athlete experience, as well as personal and professional development, Lyons was the driving force behind the introduction of the H.A.L.L. (Helping Athletes Learn to be Leaders) Program in 2013. Built on five components (Leadership Development, Student-Athlete Welfare Enhancement, Academic and Athletic Success Initiatives, Community Enrichment, Spiritual Growth), the H.A.L.L. Program's mission is to serve as the catalyst that transforms high school graduates into student-athlete leaders, and then leaders in the professional world.
Seton Hall student-athletes have enjoyed tremendous academic success during Lyons' tenure as well. The cumulative grade point average for student-athletes is currently at an all-time high. In addition, over his four full years at The Hall 720 student-athletes have earned BIG EAST Academic All Star recognition; 159 in 2011-12 (68 percent of student-athlete population), 171 in 2012-13 (73 percent of student-athlete population), 191 in 2013-14 (77 percent of student-athlete population) and 199 in 2014-15 (82 percent of the student-athlete population).
Under Lyons’ leadership, the department’s grade-point average (GPA) has never been higher. In 2014-15, Seton Hall student-athletes collectively recorded a 3.346 GPA, the highest in department history. During the spring 2015 semester, all 14 varsity teams had GPAs over a 3.0.
The NCAA has taken notice of the academic success, awarding six varsity teams the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition Award for having an APR in the top 10 percent in the nation.
The Pirates have also experienced a number of on field successes since Lyons came to Seton Hall. The men's basketball team finished the 2011-12 season with a 21-13 overall mark, matching the program's highest win total since the 2003-04 season and advancing to the second round of the National Invitational Tournament. The baseball team captured the BIG EAST Championship at the conclusion of the 2011 season, the third in program history and first since 2001.
In its fourth year as a program, the women's golf team captured the 2014 BIG EAST Championship and appeared in its first-ever NCAA Regional and then repeated as champs in 2015, becoming the first program at The Hall to repeat since softball in 2004 and 2005. The men's and women's swimming & diving teams also captured six BIG EAST individual titles in 2013-14, while baseball recorded its most wins (39) since 2000.
In 2014-15, the women’s basketball and volleyball teams both delivered banner seasons. The women’s basketball team won a school-record 28 games, captured the BIG EAST regular season championship and earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The volleyball team also had 28 victories and earned the NCAA Tournament at-large berth.
Lyons has instituted a number of new events to help honor both its current and former student-athletes. In addition to the annual SAAC Student-Athlete Awards Banquet, Seton Hall held its first annual Senior Awards Banquet in 2011-12 as a way to recognize its graduating seniors. He also refined annual Seton Hall University Athletics Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony by hosting it in conjunction with a golf tournament at the Fairmount Country Club in Chatham, N.J. Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1988-89 men's basketball program's run to the national championship game, the 2014 ceremony was held in Historic Walsh Gymnasium, marking the first team to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Seton Hall's student-athletes have exhibited success in a number of ways off playing field as well, through community service initiatives and professional development opportunities. The Pirates' community outreach programs demonstrated outstanding involvement from every varsity program in the last three years, as Seton Hall's student-athletes participated in an array of activities to benefit the community. Seton Hall also instituted an Annual Student-Athlete Leadership Forum, providing its student-athletes with a chance to learn from and meet speakers from across the sports landscape.
Lyons arrived at Seton Hall after spending seven years as Iona College's Director of Athletics, establishing its department as one of the top programs in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. He was the chief administrator for the Gaels' 21 NCAA Division I athletics programs.
Lyons' student-athlete centered vision was incorporated into several initiatives at Iona. Working closely with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Lyons emphasized a community service element for all of Iona's 400+ student-athletes and also displayed a deep commitment to student-athlete development and academic standards through additional support services and facilities in both the compliance and academic services offices.
Under Lyons, the Iona athletics department saw unprecedented growth and success both on and off the fields of play. Lyons also made his mark at Iona in fundraising and improvements made to athletics facilities. The Iona Gaels Capital Improvements Fund was created by Lyons as the first capital fundraising effort in the department's history.
The Gaels achieved numerous athletic accomplishments during his tenure in New Rochelle. The men's cross country team consistently contended at a national level earning back-to-back runner up finishes at the NCAA Championships (2007 & 2008). The women's cross country team earned its first ever bid to the NCAA Championship.
Iona's women's basketball program vaulted to one of the top teams in the conference with its best five-year stretch and first postseason berth in program history. The Gaels advanced to back-to-back Women's National Invitation Tournament Second Round appearances (2007 & 2008), and made a third appearance in the WNIT in 2010.
Under Lyons tutelage, the Iona men's basketball program won its seventh MAAC Championship in 2006. The Iona softball program also took home a MAAC title in 2010, earning its first ever bid to the NCAA Championships. The Gaels went on to win a second championship in 2011.
Lyons oversaw significant facility improvements at Iona, most notably the opening of the Hynes Athletics Center and the Judge Student-Athlete Academic Center in 2006. The Hynes building houses a recreation center that serves the entire Iona community. It contains a multi-purpose gymnasium, cardio and weight rooms, core and aerobic studios as well as an office are for the school's Division I athletic programs. The Academic Center was equipped with the necessary tools to assist in achieving academic success and reaching their full potential in the classroom.
Additional facility improvements led by Lyons were, the opening of the Rice Oval softball field, a multi-purpose turf facility that also serves Iona's intramural programs, office suites for the men's and women's basketball programs, a varsity weight-room and varsity locker rooms. The Sports Medicine Center was upgraded and redesigned, as well as a varsity film room was installed with the latest video and computing technology and theatre seating.
Mazzella Field, the home for the men's and women's soccer and women's lacrosse programs, received state-of-the-art FieldTurf and a new scoreboard. Resurfacing the Hynes Center with a new maple floor for basketball and volleyball was the last major improvement project under Lyons.
Before elevating to Director of Athletics at Iona, Lyons was the Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs. In that role, he was responsible for all revenue generation by the athletics department with primary oversight of the department's fundraising arm - The Goal Club.
In his two years in that position, the Goal Club not only set new fundraising records each year but also increased membership. Lyons also oversaw the department's marketing, licensing and merchandising efforts, including the rebranding of the athletic department logo and word marks.
Prior to that role, Lyons served as Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance. He oversaw all NCAA, MAAC, and institutional policies, as well as team scheduling, student-athlete financial aid, the student-athlete advisory committee and payroll for all staff. Lyons also coordinated the NCAA certification process.
As a coach, Lyons led the Iona golf team to its most successful four-year span. At the helm of the Gaels from 1998-02, he directed the squad to three MAAC Championships and earned a berth in the NCAA Golf Championship in each of his three full seasons. The team also won eight tournaments while maintaining one of the highest GPA's for any male team at Iona. Lyons also served as assistant hockey coach from 1997-2000. As the top assistant, Lyons expanded Iona's recruiting base and helped guide the Gaels' to the 1999 MAAC Hockey League Championship game.
A native of Providence, R.I., Lyons was a two-sport standout in hockey and golf at Iona College. One of the most prolific scorers in school history, Lyons tallied 80 goals and 90 assists during his 86-game career and led all of NCAA Division I hockey in goals per game during the 1995-96 season. He captained the golf team during his junior and senior seasons and in 1996, received the Joseph O'Connell award, given annually to Iona's most outstanding student-athlete.
In 1999, Lyons earned his master's degree in teaching from Iona and earned an MBA from the Hagan School of Business in 2004. Lyons has also served as an adjunct professor in both the Biology department at Iona and the Sports Business Management program at Manhattanville College.
Throughout his career, Lyons has served on several national committees. He was a member of the NCAA Division I Championships and Sports Management Cabinet serving as a liaison to the men's and women's hockey committees. He also held seats on the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet, the Division I FCS Subdivision Executive Committee, NCAA Division I Water Polo Committee and the NCAA Division I Football Regional Advisory Committee.
Lyons is married to the former Rachel Cintolo, DNP, who is a member of the faculty at Rutgers University.