Harbaugh hires Wayne Lyons' mom

Submitted by ypsituckyboy on February 6th, 2015 at 8:31 AM

Per Mark Snyder at The Paper That Shall Not Be Named, Gwendolyn Bush, who is the mother of Stanford CB Wayne Lyons, has been hired as the director of player development. On Twitter, she referred to the position as "team mom". I think we can safely assume Lyons is coming.

Harbaugh must've gotten to know her while recruiting Lyons. Also, apparently Lyons is a great student and really good kid, so I'd assume the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

EDIT: So, it sounds like she was also the "team mom" for the South Florida Elite 7-on-7 team that featured, among others, Amari Cooper, Geno Smith, and Teddy Bridgewater. All those guys apparently loved her.



February 6th, 2015 at 8:46 AM ^

Why would that be a good thing? That's like paying players to come, which is not ethical. The endorsement of hiring friends and family to get recruits is dirty. I'm not indicating that is why Harbaugh did it, but your reply that we should do it for "all" recruits needs to be tempered without your Harbaugh is God glasses on. Partridge was smary because he was jobless and qualified--and perhaps Mrs. Lyons is, too. One can only pray that yo are being sarcastic. 


February 6th, 2015 at 8:52 AM ^

This is not a dirty move. It's hiring someone who is qualified (i.e. someone who has both the technical skills and the relationship skills). It's no different than hiring Partridge. Why in the world would you hire someone into a position where pre-existing relationships are massively important if they didn't have those relationships already? That'd be like a venture capital firm hiring a guy to raise money who didn't know any rich people.


February 6th, 2015 at 9:10 AM ^

According to a quick google of her name a Gwendolyn Bush comes up on LinkedIn as a middle school teacher with expereince in both primary and secondary education from the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area. If this is in fact her this experience, along with having a son involved in D1 athletics at an institution with high caliber academics, would seem to make her qualifed.  


814 East U

February 6th, 2015 at 9:17 AM ^

Just because your kids are smart/dumb does not always reflect on the parents. My siblings have had various life/career/schooling paths. Using a single child as a qualification could make my father a CEO or a janitor depending on which child you decide to judge him on. 

Again, not saying she isn't qualified. Just asking questions I believe are not unreasonable. 


February 6th, 2015 at 11:31 AM ^

I guess the Paramus coach would be one thing. He has a relationship to the #1 DT in the country for 2016..  but a grad transfer who will be a back up or nickle DB.. for 1 year.  She must be qualified, because otherwise thats a horrible hire just to land that dude. and I don't buy Harbaugh doing stupid stuff.  If he was looking to gain an advantage with a recruit, I am sure that Eason (insert actual highly rated HS recruit here) has a relative with a pulse that needs a job. 


February 6th, 2015 at 9:29 AM ^

Jim is building a machine that extends well into the full complement of staff you are allowed to have. Get every quality coach, team mom, dietitian, support person, etc that you can put on the payroll. Put us on equal footing as the other major programs instead of playing by some self imposed rules of just keeping the normal coaching staff roles. Michigan has not pulled consecutive classes of multiple 5* recruits in a long time, we need elite talent to compete with elite teams so I like the fact we are getting after it.

Sauce Castillo

February 6th, 2015 at 8:36 AM ^

That's fantastic.  Aside from the obvious great coaching staff Harbaugh has put together, how about all these analyst roles and support roles for the football team!  Does anyone know or can hint at how many extra staff Harbaugh has brought in or how the structure is different from the old one?


February 6th, 2015 at 8:41 AM ^

I love this... Harbaugh is just creating positions for people he wants around. Is there any sort of NCAA limit to these types of roles?

That title is just asking for mom jokes.



February 6th, 2015 at 8:47 AM ^

Eh, I don't think he's creating unnecessary work. I've heard from a number of people who are well-connected to the program that the football administrative side of things was pretty disorganized and far behind what other top-tier teams have in terms of finances allocated to it, number of personnel, etc.


February 6th, 2015 at 11:04 AM ^

Disorganized yes, number of personnel no. A few months ago I compared our program to Minnesota's (and yes, we should be competing with the OSU's and Alabama's of the world, not the Gophers) and found that we had ~50 support personnel in the football program to their ~30. I went back today to check on the number, but that section of MGoBlue.com has been removed. Perhaps they'll put it back up once Harbaugh has his people in place, but I remember being shocked that we had so many extra hangers-on than a team like Minnesota, yet clearly their results this past season were better than ours.

And finances? Cumong, man. UofM had better not be crying poverty because no one is going to listen to that.

True Blue Grit

February 6th, 2015 at 1:11 PM ^

it could be we have 20 more people because our program offers a lot more services to players and the community, or we have to have more compliance people because we have certain newspapers trying to harpoon us all the time.  Who knows.  I wouldn't read to much into the difference.  The reality is that everyone wants the team to win B10 titles, bowl games, and NC's, and to do that in today's day and age, you need to outwork and outprepare the other teams.  One big way to accomplish that is with more people to do more work. 

814 East U

February 6th, 2015 at 8:47 AM ^

A lot of people here are hypocrites. They would bash OSU or MSU if they did this but "love" it when Michigan does. I personally do not care but I am not sure if I "love" it. I do not know her resume but I initially agree with hiring a prominant high school coach (Paramus Catholic Coach) to evaluate high school players. 


February 6th, 2015 at 8:55 AM ^

If you think that UM hired this woman to lure her son, who would be able to play ONE year and lost his starting CB job on the team he is currently playing for, then you are badly misreading the situation.

More likely, she is good at what she does (see her success with the Florida team she is currently with) and Durkin recommended the hire for that reason and to help with future FL recruiting.

Nothing wrong with that at all.

814 East U

February 6th, 2015 at 9:09 AM ^

It is not what I think. No one has stated they think that. There is a bigger issue here than Wayne Lyons and his potentially 1 year playing at Michigan. 

I actually think it is very smart to have a woman in the football admin. I think it would make many families/players comfortable. I am just not rejoicing. 


February 6th, 2015 at 9:10 AM ^

He's providing context that differentiates between Lyons and some other high school senior who may be coming to play for 4 years.  If JH is hiring a woman for her son, we're only getting the benefit of 1 year of his playing career. 


February 6th, 2015 at 9:18 AM ^

It's not far from the point at all.

In some cases, parents get hired to help out the family and ensure that the football player actually joins the program. "Your job depends on getting your son to come here" essentially.

In this case, we're not talking about a high schooler who has no means to support himself. Lyons is (approximately) 22 years old with a degree from Stanford who could presumably go out into the world and get a job immediately. Furthermore, Lyons only has one year of college eligibility remaining, so Michigan isn't exactly creating a long-term position for a long-term bump. If Michigan gets Lyons (which is at the very least probable), you're talking about a guy who might get Michigan from 7 wins to 8 or 8 wins to 9. He's not going to win the Heisman or the Thorpe Award. He's not going to turn Michigan into a national championship-caliber team.

EDIT: Furthermore, Michigan recruited Lyons out of high school, and Harbaugh did, too. This is not a new romance. Lyons could very well transfer to Michigan, regardless of whether his mom has a job or not. If you've got a job that needs filling, a woman with family connections to the team, and she has the necessary skills/qualifications, then I don't see a problem.


February 6th, 2015 at 9:47 AM ^

Just because the words ethical or non ethical were not used. It's obvious this is an ethical vs non ethical argument.

Personally I feel this is bordering on non ethical behavior and is pretty close to how cam newton ended up at auburn.

This situation is probably completely above board because I doubt they would be advertising it on Twitter if it wasn't. But this can set a precedent for future recruits parents to want jobs with the university in the future. Universities can set up sham jobs like Team moms and dads. Universities could then provide housing stipends and car allowances for said jobs. Lots of business provide these services as part of employment.

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February 6th, 2015 at 9:57 AM ^

"But this can set a precedent for future recruits parents to want jobs with the university in the future."

And if they're not qualified, they shouldn't be hired. It sounds to me like she has experience and has done it before, so I don't see a problem.

But hey, Michigan hired Tyrone Wheatley, Sr. and magically got a commitment from Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. I haven't seen many people complaining about that. Why? Probably at least in part because Tyrone Wheatley, Sr. is qualified for the job.


February 6th, 2015 at 10:40 AM ^

What are the qualifications for being team mom? Can you point me to the job description on Michigan's web sight?

Come on, trying to compare this to Wheatley is about as bad as me trying to compare this to cam newton. Wheatley would have been hired even if he didn't have a kid who was being recruited. He has real qualifications for that job.

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