Jim Lyall will begin his fifth season at Siena Heights University after compiling an 8-1 record in the Saints’ inaugural season and then guiding the Saints to a 15-15 record during their first three varsity campaigns. He was named 2014 Mid-States Football Association Mideast League Coach of the Year after leading SHU to a 6-4 overall record and 5-1 league slate -- good enough for the program's first conference championship.
Lyall has over 40 years of collegiate coaching experience, including the 24 as a head coach. Along with his head coaching duties, he also coaches the SHU kickers.
Lyall was the head coach of NCAA Division III Adrian from 1990-2009, compiling a record of 103-92-1, including a 55-25 stretch during his final eight seasons. In 1997, his Bulldogs won a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championship.
Lyall's players have totaled 117 on-field all-conference honors, six academic All-Americans, three NCAA Division III All-Americans, and three NAIA All-Americans. Four of his former players have moved on to play football at the professional level.
The Cleveland, Ohio, native was a defensive lineman for four seasons (1970-73) at the University of Michigan. He played for legendary coach Bo Schembechler. During that time, the Wolverines won three Big Ten Conference titles and had a record of 31-1-1 – their only loss coming in a 13-12 Rose Bowl defeat to Stanford on New Year’s Day, 1972. As a senior, Lyall was awarded the “Champion of the Year” award by the Michigan coaching staff.
Lyall also worked for 15 years as a special education teacher in adapted physical education and was named the 1989 “Teacher of the Year” by the Lenawee County Intermediate School District. He was also awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” award by the Lenawee County Special Olympics and has served as the director of the Special Olympics in Lenawee and Monroe counties.
Lyall and his wife, Laurie, have two grown sons, Michael and Patrick.