New Perry High School Activities Director Scott Pierce will be faced with his first series of new hires as Aaron Lyons has resigned a trio of coaching positions as well as a disciplinary slot at the school.
“There were a lot of emotions when I told the guys,” Lyons told ThePerryNews.com. “Everyone says this, but it is true for me — this was not an easy decision. I really like the young men I have been lucky to work with, and it (the decision to depart) came only after a long time thinking about it and what was best for me and my family.”
Lyons, 27, is married with a young daughter and said continuing to coach — hopefully somewhere in the area — is a goal, though nothing is set at the moment.
“I really appreciate the opportunities I have had here and the trust and faith Tom Lipovac (recently retired activities director) showed in me,” Lyons said. “I had several conversations with him, recently and over my time here, and I really consider him a mentor. I was lucky to have him around for my first coaching experiences, and I am sure Scott Pierce will do just fine following him.”
Lyons has served as the boys varsity basketball coach for the past two seasons and was completing his first year as head coach of the varsity baseball team. In addition, he has served as an assistant football coach at the varsity level and was the in-school suspension supervisor for PHS.
He will continue to coach the Bluejay baseball team, which faces host Ballard Friday in the first round of the postseason, with his resignation — as accepted by the Perry School Board — to take effect at the end of the season.
Participation numbers must improve, Lyons said, for Perry to be able to compete, and he continued to stress his long-stated hope that Perry will leave the Raccoon River Conference, preferably to the Heart of Iowa.
“There are several unique challenges facing sports in Perry that the other teams (in the RRC) do not have to deal with, and it makes it very challenging for us,” Lyons said. “You can talk about all you want, but until we start to see real and lasting improvement in participation numbers and an improved confidence we are going to be where we are — struggling against schools not facing the battles Perry has to face.”
Lyons, a multi-sport standout at East Greene, was handed a pair of difficult challenges upon assuming the coaching duties at Perry.
The Perry cagers were 6-17 in 2017-18 but lost more than 10 seniors. A winless 2018-2019 campaign followed, but Lyons remained positive and helped Perry turn in a 4-18 record in 2019-2020. The team will again lose a senior class of at least 10 players who saw playing time.
The situation in baseball was hardly better, with the Jays winless in 2019. They are currently 2-13 entering Friday’s playoff opener.