That's what he loves about driving — the interaction with people, especially the football players. It's the youth minister in him. He enjoys drives after a victory. The team is always really loud and having a good time. That's the way Lyons prefers it.
He said after a loss, it's like driving home alone.
“It's that quiet,” he said.
Regardless of the record or who played best on the field, Oklahoma's chauffeur switches between driving the offensive and defensive units, but both sides of the ball lay claim to Lyons.
He's known as one of Red Carpet's best drivers.
“He's one of our safest drivers that we have,” said Rick Whipple, the driver for Oklahoma's band and Red Carpet's safety manager.
In Lyons's 13 years with Red Carpet, he's never returned the bus with a dent, Whipple said. “He's got a lot of miles under his seat.”
Lyons, who drives a blue '94 Chevy pickup truck with a “#1 OU fan” plate, is the lead driver for other Oklahoma sports teams, too. Women's basketball and rowing have Lyons behind the wheel.
This weekend, Lyons will lead a team of seven luxury buses surrounded by four Oklahoma Highway Patrol cars through southern Oklahoma until the buses reach Gainesville, Texas. From there, the Texas Highway Patrol will lead the caravan to the Texas fairgrounds.
“I still get the same excitement as I did the first time when we get that escort,” Lyons said.
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