MONROE, La. -- ULM director of athletics Brian Wickstrom announced today the hiring of Corey Lyon as the new head coach of the Warhawk softball program. The appointment is pending approval by the University of Louisiana system’s Board of Supervisors.
“I am excited to welcome Corey Lyon to the Warhawk family,” said Wickstrom. “He is a proven head coach who knows Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas for recruiting. He brings a different energy to ULM and I look forward to watching ULM Softball in the future.”
Lyon makes the transition to ULM from Southern Arkansas where he was the head coach for the last three seasons. In the season prior to his arrival (2011), the Lady Muleriders posted a record of 14-39. During the 2012 season, his first at Southern Arkansas, the team improved their win total by 12 games as it finished with 26 wins.
“I want to thank ULM president Dr. Nick Bruno, director of athletics Brian Wickstrom and sport administrator Brendan Hoffer for giving me this amazing opportunity,” said Lyon. “I am very excited and looking forward to this opportunity. I believe that we will bring in a lot of energy, both from myself as well as my staff. I am looking forward to doing great things in the Sun Belt Conference and my goal, as it has always been, is to win a conference title. Obviously we want to do that as soon as possible, but we have work to do. We have talent on the current roster and there is a great opportunity to infuse energy and enthusiasm into the roster as we push the team to the next level.”
Year two (2013) saw another 20-plus win campaign as the Lady Muleriders won 27 games to mark the first time since 2006 (26 wins) and 2007 (27 wins) that the program had back-to-back 20-plus win seasons. During his first two seasons at the helm of the program, Lyon guided the program to 53 wins – a mark of 10 more wins than the four seasons prior to his arrival (43 wins from 2008 to 2011).
This past season, Lyon’s club won 37 games en route to the Great American Conference tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Muleriders came out of the loser’s bracket to win three straight games and claim the GAC title including a pair of shutout wins over top-seeded Southeastern Oklahoma State. Following the GAC championship, Southern Arkansas competed in the NCAA Central Regional in Winona, Minn.
The 2014 club set a total of 31 school records and its NCAA tournament berth was the first in program history. The squad’s winning record (37-26) was the first winning season for the Lady Muleriders since the 2005 season. A total of 11 players were named All-GAC and three earned NCAA Division II All-Central Region honors.
In his three seasons in Magnolia, Ark., Lyon’s teams reached the conference tournament each season and a total of 25 players were named GAC All-Academic. He also had the first ever All-American in program history and had another player earn Academic All-American honors. His 90 total wins from 2012-2014 are the most in any three-year stretch in program history.
Before taking over at Southern Arkansas, Lyon was the head coach at Paris (Texas) Junior College where he compiled a record of 125-52 from 2009-2011. His teams reached the region tournaments all three seasons and his teams led Region XIV in homers each season.
His win percentage of .706 is the best in program history. The mark of .706 from 2009-2011 was the third best among the 30 junior colleges in Texas. He also had 23 players either named All-Conference or All-Region.
In his first season, the squad claimed their first ever conference title as they claimed the 2009 Region XIV Eastern Division Conference Championship. The club went on to finish as the runner-up at the regional tournament.
Prior to being at Paris JC, Lyon was head softball coach at Independent High School in Wichita, Kan., from 2005-2008, guiding his teams to a 65-19 mark over the four years. In the program’s two-year existence before his arrival, the school had never won a game. Lyon’s final two teams in 2007 and 2008 claimed league and regional championships, and his 2008 squad was the Kansas 3A state runner-up after finishing fourth in 2007.
While at Independent, Lyon also served as dean of students and was the head football coach from 2005-2007, guiding the 2007 team to the best record in school history.
Lyon received his B.S.E. in elementary education from Newman (Kan.) University in 1995 and his M.A. in school leadership from Baker (Kan.) University in 2005. He and his wife, Bridget, have three daughters, Cheyanne, Carson and Ciarra.
For updates on the ULM softball team, be sure to follow @ULM_Softball on Twitter. Support the Warhawks through participation in the Athletic Foundation, join the ULMAF by calling 318-342-5415.