Mary Elizabeth Lyons
Born: October 1, 1932 (Kingston, Ontario)
Died: October 4, 2014 (Mississauga, Ontario)
Member: York University (Ont.) Lions Athletics Hall of Fame (1982)
Mary Lyons was a pioneering leader in women’s sports in Ontario. She built the women’s athletic program at York University in Toronto, where she also coached and lectured. She served as an executive on several sporting bodies.
A graduate of Queen’s University in her hometown of Kingston, Ont., she gained a master’s degree at the State University of New York. She spent 12 years teaching physical education at high schools in Burlington and Port Colborne, Ont., during which she also coached basketball, volleyball gymnastics, and track and field. In 1967, she joined the staff at York University as co-ordinator of women’s interuniversity athletics. Lyons co-ordinated the education faculty’s physical education curriculum. She also coached the university’s volleyball team for seven seasons.
As an administrator, Lyons served as president of the Ontario-Quebec Women’s Conference of Intercollegiate Athletics, as well as the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association. She was a director of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) and the Canadian Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CWIAU).
She was a founding contributor to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport.
Off campus, Lyons served on the executive of the Trafalgar Golf and Country Club at Milton, Ont.