Tommy’s career in Fairfax County began at Mount Vernon High School where he coached baseball and eighth grade basketball and became the first athletic trainer in Northern Virginia.
Tommy Lyles grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, the youngest of twelve children and the only one to graduate from college. His father died when he was twelve years old. His high school coach and role model, Leon Brogdon, encouraged Tommy to become a coach.
After graduating from high school during World War ll, he joined the United States Army and spent three and one-half years as a soldier, twenty-nine months of the time in Europe. After discharge, he enrolled in the University of Virginia where he received a B.S. degree in physical education with a minor in biology and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. While in college he served as assistant athletic trainer, a member of the University of Virginia’s Honor Committee, president of his fraternity and a member of the 1952-53 boxing team. He was also active in student government affairs in the School of Education.
Tommy’s career in Fairfax County began at Mount Vernon High School where he coached baseball and eighth grade basketball and became the first athletic trainer in Northern Virginia. After two years as the assistant principal at Walt Whitman Intermediate School, he served seventeen years as an elementary principal, one year at Bren Marr Elementary and sixteen years at Wakefield Forest Elementary School. During this time, he was athletic trainer as well as assistant coach and head coach for various baseball, basketball and football programs within the Fairfax County School System.
In 1980 Tommy left school administration and during the following ten years was the head basketball trainer at the University of Maryland for three years, the head athletic trainer at Yorktown High School for five years (the first athletic trainer in Arlington County), the head athletic trainer at Marymount University for one year, and the trainer for the McDonalds Classic U. S. All Stars in 1980 and 1989.
He served on the NVADACA Board of Directors for eight years as Program Chairman, bringing in well-known sports figures. Mr. Lyles retired in 1990 and moved to New Bern, North Carolina where he continued to work in the field he loved. He taught health and physical education (first aid, CPR, physical fitness and weight training) at Craven Community College. Mr. Lyles was selected for the 1996 Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. NVADACA is pleased to offer a scholarship in the name of Tommy Lyles.