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Dan Lyle


Sweeney Award



Dan Lyle was born September 28, 1970 to Mike and Carol Lyle in Louisville, Kentucky. He was the youngest of three children. As the son of a two star general, Dan grew up in 13 different cities before he turned 18. Playing all sports throughout his childhood, he chose football quite late but went on to have an outstanding collegiate career at the Virginia Military Institute. After college, he pursued the NFL, trying out for the Washington Redskins and later earning a contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Lyle took up rugby at the age of 23 to maintain his athletic skills in the event that the NFL called his number.

Over the course of three years, Lyle played for three club teams and three representative sides domestically. From 1993 -1994 he played with the Washington RFC. In the summer of 1994, he played with Aspen. Lyle appeared for OMBAC from 1995-1996, leading them to victory at the 1995 Club 7s and the 1996 Club 15s Championships.  In 1994, he represented both Potomac and the ERU and in 1995-1996, Southern California.  

Lyle received an offer to play football with the Vikings at the same time he received an offer from the Bath Football Club, a premier professional rugby club in England.  He followed his heart, choosing rugby, and went on to earn the name “Captain America” amongst British rugby circles.  He played with Bath from 1996-2003, serving as team captain on several occasions from 1998-2003, and leading the team in the 2000-01 season. He made 125 senior appearances for Bath and led the team to the European Championship title in 1998. During his time with Bath, he was recognized as the 1996-97 Premiership New Comer of the Year; All World 15s in 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003; Rugby World and Rugby News Magazines Best Number 8 Globally; and Premiership and European Player of the Month and Premiership Man of the Match on several occasions.  

In 1994, Lyle made his international debut with the U.S. National Team, the Eagles, against Ireland. Two years later, he was promoted to captain. In total, he made 51 appearances and capped 45 times for the USA. He was recognized on numerous occasions as the “Man of the Match.” In 1994, he also made his first appearance for the USA 7s Team. He represented the U.S. at four Hong Kong 7s Tournaments. He was the U.S. team captain at the 1997 7s World Cup, leading the USA to a Bowl victory. He retired from national team play upon the conclusion of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Lyle appeared for the prestigious international invitational side, the Barbarians, in 1997 and 2000. During his first match, he was named Man of the Match. He also made 12 appearances for Leicester from 2003-2004. After his stint with Leicester, he retired from professional rugby.

Balancing his life as a player and a businessman, Lyle served as a club representative to the English Professional Players Association and served on the Executive Board for five years. A multimedia professional, Lyle has broad speaking and broadcast experience, working with NBC, NBC Sports Network, ESPN, Fox Sports, various overseas broadcasters, and others as a color and studio analyst.

He currently serves as the Executive Vice President for United World Sports/USA Sevens, LLC. He joined the company in 2006 and served as tournament director for the USA Sevens before moving to his current position in 2010.  He oversees the USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament in Las Vegas, the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup, the ProSoccer MLS Preseason Challenge, and works directly within the company with their publication, Rugby Today, and their sports brand, Rhino Rugby.

Lyle is an avid reader, golfer, volunteer coach, Airborne qualified and Eagle Scout. He resides in Lafayette, Colorado with his wife, Becky, and three sons, Harry, Jack, and Matthew.