DURHAM, N.H. – John Lyons, the second-winningest head football coach in Dartmouth College history, has been hired as the new defensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire, head coach Sean McDonnell announced Friday. Lyons replaces Sean McGowan, who was hired as assistant coach for defense at Temple University on Friday.
Lyons earned 60 career victories as the head coach at Dartmouth from 1992-2004. His Big Green teams won two Ivy League championships (1992, 1996), including a perfect 10-0 season in '96 when Lyons was named the New England Coach of the Year by the New England sports writers and the Division I N.E. Coach of the Year by the Gridiron Club of Boston.
"I've known John for more than 25 years, going back to when we were both assistants at Boston University, and everywhere he's been, his defense has been exceptional," McDonnell said. "We are very excited to have someone with his experience coming to run our defense."
Previously, Lyons spent three seasons (2005-07) in NFL Europe for the Cologne Centurions, the last two years as defensive coordinator. Under his tutelage, the Centurions had the league's top total defense in 2005 and 2007 and the No. 1 pass yardage defense in 2006.
While serving as defensive coordinator at Boston University from 1985-87, Lyons led the Terriers to the top rated pass defense and No. 2 total defense in the Yankee Conference during his final season.
Lyons, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974, began his coaching career at his alma mater, climbing his way up from an assistant freshman coach in his first season (1974) to the role of defensive coordinator in 1984 for an undefeated Ivy League championship Quakers team that featured the No. 1 total defense in the league. He played three years at Penn, and was a Second Team All Ivy League selection.
McGowan spent seven seasons at UNH, the last four as defensive coordinator. He coached linebackers for two years (2007-08) and defensive backs for three seasons (2004-06).
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