Mick Lyon talks about a pair of Big Ten road games this weekend at Minnesota and Wisconsin
The end of the 2012 season marked the 11th season as the head of the IU women's soccer program for Mick Lyon. He announced his retirement on Nov. 29, 2012 after posting a record of 95-98-21 mark with the Hoosiers. He was a head coach for 20 years and carded 202 wins, all coming at the helm of a college program in the state of Indiana (Indiana and Evansville).
In his final season in Bloomington, Lyon helped senior Orianica Velasquez earn Second Team All-Big Ten honors as she finished her career in fourth place on the career points list at Indiana. Lisa Nouanesengsy also became the first player in program history to post a pair of hat tricks in her career when she tallied three goals against Arkansas State in the season opener. And junior Rebecca Candler set a new IU single-season record with 10 assists on the year.
The 2011 season saw Indiana go 6-12-1 overall and post a trio of shutouts. Lisa Nouanesengsy wrote her name into the history books by scoring three goals against Butler to match the IU single-game record. She is the seventh player to score a hat trick for IU and the first since Kristin Arnold in 2007.
In 2010, the Hoosiers posted a 6-12-1 overall record, with five of those losses were by one goal. After the season, sophomore Orianica Velasquez joined her Colombian Women's National team at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.
The 2009 season saw Lyon and the Hoosiers get off to a dazzling 6-0-0 start with a 3-2 overtime win over No. 6 Florida at Armstrong Stadium on Sept. 4, as Leigh Anne Cummings game-winner was the difference. The number four ranking was the highest opponent an IUWS team has defeated in the history of the program. The Hoosiers also defeated No. 20 Michigan State, 1-0, and shutdown one of the best scoring duos in the conference. Senior Kelly Lawrence was named Second Team All-Big Ten defender, becoming the first player in program history to be named all-conference in each of her four seasons. The team finished the year with a 10-7-2 overall record and narrowly missed out on an NCAA Tournament berth.
In 2008, Lyon fielded a young squad with no seniors and 12 players in their first year of action. The Hoosiers posted a disappointing 8-10-1 mark, but seven of those losses came by one goal and many were in heartbreaking fashion. IU rallied down the stretch, going 3-0-1 in its final four conference games, including a win over No. 25 Purdue and a tie against arch-rival Purdue. Indiana also posted a 2-0 win over No. 14 Tennessee at the vaunted Aggie Soccer Invitational in College Station, Texas.
The 2007 campaign was Lyon's finest season with the team. Indiana notched 13 wins and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, the longest postseason run in school history. The Hoosiers' 13 wins were the most in Lyon's tenure, as he led Indiana to its second straight top-four finish in the Big Ten.
IU wrapped up the season ranked 21st in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America, marking the second straight season that Indiana had seen itself in the nation's top 25. Defender Kelly Lawrence and forward Kristin Arnold each picked up All-Big Ten recognition in leading the youthful squad to its finest season in Lyon's time at the helm.
Perhaps most impressive was Lyon's performance at home, as the Hoosiers posted a 9-1-1 record at Armstrong Stadium in 2007, including a 2-1, overtime upset over eventual national champion USC on Sept. 9. IU's only loss at home came in the NCAA Tournament, as Duke ended the Hoosiers' postseason run in a 2-0 contest. In his Hoosier career, Lyon is 47-18-7 at home, including a 28-8-4 mark over the last four seasons.
In 2006, the Hoosiers posted a 13-game unbeaten streak in the middle of the season to vault to their highest-ever national ranking - 16th in the nation. Lyon also won his 150th game as a head coach with a 1-0 victory over Wisconsin on Oct. 13. The defense was the story of the 2006 squad, as defenders Kelly Lawrence and Lauren Lamping were named to the all-conference squad along with midfielder Christie Kotynski. Lawrence and Kotynski were both selected to the all-freshman team as well, with Lawrence grabbing a unanimous selection.
In 2005, Lyon led IU to its fourth straight Big Ten Tournament appearance despite a deep Big Ten Conference that boasted as many as five teams ranked in the top 25 nationally throughout the season. In arguably one of the top women's soccer conferences in the nation, Indiana finished the regular season sixth in the Big Ten standings.
Lyon's teams have always been strong defensively. In 2004, the Hoosiers allowed a then school-record low 18 goals. That squad limited 17 of its 19 opponents to fewer than two goals and posted a record of 9-7-3.
In his inaugural year with IU, Lyon brought a winning attitude with him, leading the Hoosiers to a 10-7-2 finish and coaching the team to its first postseason action since 1998. Since taking the reins of the Indiana program in 2002, Lyon and the Hoosiers have never missed a Big Ten tournament. In all, Lyon has coached 11 winning seasons in his 17-year head coaching career.
In 1985, he traveled from Boston, England, to the United States and the University of Evansville, where he enrolled in 1985. He played three seasons for the Purple Aces and was the first three-time Most Valuable Player at Evansville, as he earned the distinction every year from 1985-87. In both 1985 and `86, Lyon led the Aces to top 25 national rankings. In 1987, he was named the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Player of the Year in addition to earning all-America honors. Lyon finished his education at Evansville in 1989, earning his bachelor's degree in education.
Lyon stayed on with the Aces as an assistant to head coach Fred Schmalz in 1988. The next year, Lyon took over the high school boys' soccer program in Owensboro, Ky., a post he held for two years.
He returned to Evansville in 1991 as an assistant coach on the Evansville men's team. He served as an assistant until 1993 when he became the first women's soccer head coach in Evansville history.
In the first year of the program, the team finished with a 5-10-3 record but followed up with an 11-6-4 performance in 1994. In what is regarded as UE's breakthrough year, 1996 saw the Aces finish with a 16-4-1 record and claim the first of six straight Missouri Valley Conference championships. In 1996, Lyon was named the Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, an honor he would again claim in 1997 and 2000.
The success continued into 1997 when the Aces went a perfect 5-0 in the MVC and finished as regular-season champions. They went on to win the conference tournament for the second year in a row. Lyon coached the Aces to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 1998. He also advanced to the national tournament in both 1999 and 2001. In January 2003, the University of Evansville inducted Lyon into its Hall of Fame.
In addition to his duties at the helm of successful collegiate programs, Lyon also has been instrumental in providing soccer opportunities to girls and young women throughout the country.
In 1992, he established a local soccer club in Evansville - the Evansville United Soccer Club - comprised of over 150 girls and nine teams. Over the years, the Evansville United Club developed and changed, ultimately merging with the Evansville Blitz and expanding to approximately 4,000 players. Lyon served as director of the program, where he was responsible for many of the administrative duties, including the hiring of coaches and overseeing the club's youth development program.
Beyond youth soccer within the community, Lyon also is a prominent figure in the Olympic Development Program (ODP). Throughout the summer, he serves as a Region II staff coach. In addition, he has served for 10 years as an ODP regional age group coach. Lyon holds a United States Soccer Federation "A" coaching license and is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Lyon's wife, Elizabeth, also a graduate of Evansville as well as Franklin College, works at Ivy Tech Community College. An avid marathon runner, she is an ambassador with MS LifeLines and speaks nationally, raising awareness and support for individuals with multiple sclerosis.
The couple and their two dogs, Vivian and Max, reside in Bloomington.