Lyon leaving Marshall to be Tar Heels softball coach

Published 10:38 pm Thursday, June 15, 2023


Marshall University Athletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –Marshall University Softball Coach Megan Smith Lyon has resigned her post with the Thundering Herd to accept the same role at her alma mater North Carolina.

Email newsletter signup

Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears thanked Coach Lyon for her five seasons with the Thundering Herd and said a national search for a new head coach would begin immediately.

“Megan will be missed, but we are immensely proud of her accomplishments and wish her well at UNC,” Spears said. “She has our utmost respect and we wish her and her family nothing but the best. We are extremely confident we can attract an amazing person to Marshall to lead our softball program and that process has already begun.”

The announcement ends Coach Lyon’s successful five-year tenure with the Thundering Herd – one that saw her win 67 percent of her games with no season falling under the 60 percent win mark. Overall, she finished 160-70 in her five seasons.

The 2023 season proved to be her most successful with the Thundering Herd as the team set program records for wins in a season (45) while also achieving the longest winning streak in program history (23).

Marshall’s 45-10 mark in 2023 included a run to the Sun Belt Championship game in the team’s first season in its new league. That included the program’s first win over a nationally-ranked team in 15 years on April 25 when they defeated No. 24 Virginia Tech, 2-1, at Dot Hicks Field.

The successful season also came with its fair share of national and conference accolades with catcher Autumn Owen being named a consensus All-American and five players being named as All-SBC First Team selections.

“Megan is the epitome of what we are trying to do at Marshall,” Spears said. “She has elevated our program, led it with passion and purpose while always keeping the overall experience of our student-athletes at the forefront. Naturally, that led to competitive success, national recognition and a team that cares greatly for each other and our community.”

Coach Smith Lyon’s records during her tenure included being the fastest head coach in program history to win 150 games. She achieved that feat in her 215th contest at the helm of the Herd – a 5-3 road win at Coastal Carolina on April 15, 2023.

She was also the fastest coach to 100 wins, achieving that mark in 2022.

Smith Lyon also coached Marshall University’s first-ever student-athlete to earn the Senior CLASS Award as Aly Harrell brought home that distinction in 2022, as well.

The 1999 UNC graduate returns to her alma mater boasting of a 553-335 all-time head coaching record. She was an assistant with the Tar Heels in 2004 and helped UNC to an NCAA Tournament before taking her first Division I head coaching job at Western Carolina.