Swimming & Diving

 Michael Lyden
Michael Lyden

Diving Coach

9 yrs.

Michael Lyden begins his tenth season as diving coach at the University of Kentucky. Since joining the Wildcats, Lyden has led UK to diving prominence. At the 1994 NCAA Championships, Tina Johnson became UK's first diving All-American on the platform, placing eighth, and Jenny Baker earned honorable mention all-America in two events. In 1995, both divers earned All-American status, with Baker finishing eighth on the one-meter and Johnson finishing second on the platform. He had a third diver, Beth Leake, qualify for the meet, but Leake tore her medial collateral ligament in a training session prior to the competition.

Last season Lyden had one of his most successful seasons since joining UK. Sophomore Clayton Moss became the third UK man to be an SEC champion as he won the one-meter event. Moss earned All-American status on the one-meter springboard as he placed fourth at the NCAA Championships. He also earned honorable mention All-American for his 10th-place finish on the platform. Aaron Kirkpatrick also had a successful season under Lyden's tutelage. The junior garnered honorable mention All-American status with a 18th-place finish on the three-meter springboard at the NCAA championships.

During the 1999-2000 season, Lyden had junior Carrie Knoeber and freshman Moss qualify for the NCAA Championship meet. Knoeber earned honorable mention All-American honors on the three-meter while Moss earned All-American honors on the one-meter, three-meter, and platform. Moss' honors were the first for a freshman in UK history.

In 1998 Paco Rivera became the first male UK diver to claim a Southeastern Conference title, winning the platform event and garnering All-SEC honors. Rivera advanced to the NCAA Championships, where he was named as an All-American in three events including a second place finish on the platform.

In 1997, Lyden coached Christy Soulakis to the SEC three-meter springboard championship and SEC Female Diver of the Year honors. Soulakis and Rivera both earned All-America honors.

In 1996, Leake and Soulakis joined Baker and Johnson in earning All-America honors. Leake finished second on the one-meter and fourth on the three-meter, Johnson finished third on the one-meter and platform, and Baker finished seventh on the platform. For his divers' accomplishments, Lyden was honored as the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Women's Diving Coach of the Year.

Before arriving at UK, Lyden spent nine seasons at Eastern Michigan where he was the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year nine times. He then moved to LSU where he received SEC Women's Coach of the Year four times consecutively and was the 1992 SEC Men's Coach of the Year. During Lyden's tenure at LSU his divers won 15 of 24 possible SEC titles.

Along with his college coaching, Lyden has always coached U.S. Diving Clubs and has had numerous All-Americans and has coached six age group divers to 17 national championships. Lyden has served as the National Team Coach in 1988-90, 1992, 1994-96, 1998-2000 and has directed divers in competitions in Italy, Austria, Mexico, Canada, Spain, China, France, and Holland.

In addition to coaching, Lyden has been a member of the U.S. Diving Rules Committee, the U.S. Olympic International Diving Committee and is a lifetime member of U.S. Diving. In 1993-94 and 1997-99, Lyden served on the NCAA Rules Committee.

A 1980 graduate of Western Michigan University, Lyden is married to Emily Joan Sullivan of Toledo, Ohio. They have three children - Jessica Ann (11), John Tyler (Jack) (9) and Brittany Barbara (3).

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