Lonnie Lyon Retiring As Western Washington Athletic Trainer
Lyon has been at Western Washington for 20 years and has 28 years of experience in the athletic training profession.
Lyon has been at Western Washington for 20 years and has 28 years of experience in the athletic training profession.

Monday, June 10, 2019
by Western Washington Athletic Communications

BELLINGHAM, Wash.After countless road trips, thousands of hours of taping ankles and rehabbing student-athletes, the end of an era is upon us at Western Washington University.

Lonnie Lyon has been at WWU since 1998 and for over 20 years has served as the head athletics trainer for the Department of Athletics.

 A familiar face on the sidelines for fans over the years, Lyon’s impact has been most felt by the student-athletes that he has treated and mentored during his 20 years at Western.

Lyon has decided to step down from his post as WWU’s head athletic trainer to spend more time with his wife, Jeannine and with his family, which includes being a grandfather and more rides on his motorcycle.

“It has been overwhelming to see the comments from so many former (and current) student-athletes when I made this decision,” said Lyon. “The touching comments really mean the world to me. I did this as a profession with the goal to always help the student-athletes, and at the end of the day, they are what it is all about. Whether it was to help them physically or mentally, helping them be better people was something I cared deeply about and that relationship has been the most amazing part of the 28 years doing this job.”

Lyon received over 100 comments on his Facebook post announcing his retirement, with several from student-athletes, some of which he had not heard from in a while.

“Those were special…to see so many names of people that I had not heard from in a while,” added Lyon. “It really hit home and was pretty awesome. I was taken back by so many of the comments from so many great people that impacted my life as well.”

As WWU’s only head athletic trainer during the NCAA era (since 1998-99), Lyon has been part of all of the Vikings 11 team national championships. Two of his favorite of the countless top moments he has are with the national championships seasons with the 2011-12 men’s basketball team and the 2016 women’s soccer team.

“Those were two very special teams and seasons to be part of,” said Lyon. “The basketball team just caught fire at the end of the season and kept building off the momentum. And then in 2016, the women’s soccer team just had this attitude that they knew they would not be beaten…and they weren’t. So many great moments over the years and it is fun to step back and look at those.”

When he was asked the question on what advice he would give to the next generation of athletic trainers, Lyon offered this advice.

“Enjoy the student-athlete experience as they will make your career worth it. The bond with them has been what made my 28 years so amazing and what keeps us so young.”

While Lyon is stepping away from his job, he plans to remain in the Bellingham area where he can enjoy his family, help watch after his grandkids and take many day trips on his motorcycle.

Lyon arrived in Bellingham in 1998, following athletic training stops at Portland State University, William Penn University (Oskaloosa, Iowa) and Ripon College (Ripon, Wisconsin). The California native is a graduate of Cal State Northridge.