Marty Lyons (Founder & Chairman of the Board)

Marty Lyons (Founder & Chairman of the Board)

“A winner in the game of life celebrates by putting other’s dreams before personal wants.” 

– Paul “Bear” Bryant, former Head Coach of the University of Alabama, 7x National Champion, and Member of the College Football HOF

A LEGEND ON AND OFF THE FIELD

Marty Lyons has never once waivered in his commitment to granting wishes to critically ill children.  From co-founding the MLF in 1982, serving as our Chairman of the Board, fundraiser, wish grantor, book author, and everything in between – Marty has always given much more than his name when it comes to the children that we serve.  He remains as involved as ever while constantly garnering new support for the mission.

Marty’s career has always been a blend of both on-field and off-field accomplishments.  His highlights include:

  • 1979 – Drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft by the New York Jets (14th overall pick).
  • 1979 thru 1989 – Played his entire NFL career with the New York Jets, exceling both Defensive Tackle and Defensive End.
    • 1981 thru 1984 – Member of the infamous “New York Sack Exchange”, where they led the NFL in sacks for three of four seasons (1981, 1983 and 1984).
    • Finished his career with 43 sacks over 11 seasons, playing in 147 games – a record for a Jets Defensive Lineman.
  • 1981 – He helped lead the New York Jets to a franchise-record 66 sacks and the team’s first playoff appearance since 1969.
  • 1982 – Led the New York Jets to the AFC Championship Game, losing 14-0 to the Miami Dolphins.
  • 1984 – Voted NFL “Man of the Year”.
  • 1990 – The New York Jets introduced the “Marty Lyons Award”, given annually to the player who gives the most back to his community as selected by the team staff. Marty was the first recipient.
  • 2013 – Inducted into the New York Jets “Ring of Honor”.
  • Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, the Marty Lyons Foundation (1982-present).
  • Vice President of Public Relations at The LandTek Group, Inc. (2000-present).
  • Radio Color Commentator for the New York Jets on 98.7 FM ESPN Radio-NY (2002-present).
  • Motivational Speaker (1982-present).
  • 1978 – All-American.
  • 1978 – SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
  • 1978 – Alabama Defensive Player of the Year.
  • 1978 – Outstanding Defensive Lineman in the Nation; Awarded by the Columbus Quarterback Club.
  • Defensive Player of the Decade – 1970s
  • Election to the Alabama Team of the Century.
  • Captain of the 1978 National Champions.
  • 2006 – Sports Illustrated All-time Alabama Team.
  • 2011 – National Football Foundation, College Football Hall of Fame.
  • 2013 – SEC Living Legend Award.
  • 2016 – Graduate of the University of Alabama, Bachelor of Science.
  • 1979 – #1 Draft Choice.
  • 1981 – Member of the New York Sack Exchange.
  • 1982 – Pro-Bowl Alternate.
  • 1983 – Pro-Bowl Alternate.
  • 1984 – National Football League Man of the Year.
  • 1991 – Retired after 11 seasons.
  • 2003 – Member of All time New York Jets Four Decade Team.
  • 2013 – Inducted into the New York Jets Ring of Honor.
  • 2019 – All Time New York Jets Team.
  • 1993 – Walk of Fame, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • 2000 – State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 2001 – Suffolk County (New York) Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 2001 – Dowling College (New York) Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 2002 – Nassau County (New York) Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 2004 – Maryland Sports Hall of Fame.
  • 2007 – Tampa Bay (Florida) Sports Club Hall of Fame.
  • 2007 – The Florida High School Athletic Association 100 Greatest Players of the First 100 Years.
  • 2011 – St. Petersburg (Florida) Catholic High School Hall of Fame, Baseball.
  • 2011 – Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on his first appearance on the ballot (an elite accomplishment where less than 1% of all college football players achieve such a distinction).
  • 2017 – All-Time Tampa Bay College Teams – First Team.

Since 1979, the long list of Marty’s speaking engagements include (but not limited to):
– Academy Bus Lines
– Adelphi University
– Bank of America
– Bank of New York Mellon
– Bethpage High School
– Capital One, Coca-Cola
– Coldwell Banker
– Compel CEOs
– Comsewogue High School
– Continental Airlines
– Custom Computer Specialists
– DavisVision
– Entenmann’s
– Ernst & Young
– Farmingdale State College
– Food Industry Alliance of New York State
– Half Hollow Hills High School
– Hartford Group
– ING
– J. Kings Food Service
– J.P. Morgan Chase
– JetBlue Airways
– John Glenn High School
– Long Island Association
– Long Island Catholic Men’s Retreat
– Magna Legal Services
– Melville Chamber of Commerce
– Merrill Lynch
– MetLife
– Morris County (NJ) Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce
– New Jersey Society of CPA
– New York Jets
– National Football League (NFL)
– North Fork Bank
– P.C. Richard and Son
– Peeq Media
– PepsiCo
– Smithtown High School West
– Smithtown Library Foundation
– Smithtown Rotary
– United Parcel Service (UPS)
– United Way
– Washington Mutual

  • 1993 – 1995, President, RBSLI Consulting.
  • 1995 – 1999, Financial Advisor, PaineWebber.
  • 2001 – 2007, Director of Marketing and Sales, The LandTek Group, Inc.
  • 2007 – 2012, Senior Vice President, Operations, The LandTek Group, Inc.
  • 2012 – present, Vice President of Marketing Public Relations, The LandTek Group, Inc.
  • 1991 – WPIX-TV, New York Jets Preseason.
  • 1991 – 1995, Color Analyst, Sports Channel.
  • 1995 – 2001, Color Analyst, MSG/Fox Net.
  • 1996 – 2003, Co-Host, MSG New York Jets Journal Show.
  • 1996 – 2015, Color Analyst for the Annual United Healthcare Empire Challenge’s High School Football All-Star Game.
  • 1998 – Emmy Winner as Color Analyst for the Annual United Healthcare Empire Challenge’s High School Football All-Star Game.
  • 2000 – Co-Host, CBS Big Apple Sports Report, The NFL Recap on Sunday Night.
  • 2000 – 2001, Sideline Reporter, CBS, NFL/New York Jets Preseason.
  • 2002 – 2003, Color Analyst for the New York Jets, WABC-Sports Radio.
  • 2004 – present, New York Jets Radio Network Color Analyst, 98.7 FM ESPN Radio-NY.
  • 1981 – Coast Deodorant Commercial.
  • 1982 – NFL United Way Commercial.
  • 1983 – Cast Member in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • 2005 – Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
  • 2008 – present, Taco Casa Restaurant Commercial.
  • 1982 – Established the Marty Lyons Foundation, Inc.
    • Man of the Decade, Westchester/Putnam County Knights of Columbus.
    • Gary Carter Award, Long Island Leukemia Society.
    • Good Neighbor Award, American Red Cross.
    • Person of the Year, Long Island Advertising Club.
    • Steve Reeves Award, New York Downtown Athletic Club.
    • Man of the Year, Long Island Jewish Hospital.
    • Lifetime Achievement Award, United Way.
    • Long Island Public Relations Award.
    • Citizen of the Year, Sons of Italy.
    • Good Guy Award, New Jersey Sports Writer.
    • Ernie Davis Humanitarian Award.
    • III & Long Award, III & Long Foundation.
  • 2000 – Helping Hands Award, The NFL Alumni.
  • 2004 – City Hero Award – Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation.
  • 2004 – Man of the Year, Port Jefferson’s Irish American Society.
  • 2005 – Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award, Long Island Association.
  • 2005 – Local Hero, Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
  • 2005 – Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame.
  • 2006 – Distinguished Humanitarian Award, Little Flower Children and Family Services.
  • 2006 – William “Buck” Lai Life Achievement Award, New York Institute of Technology.
  • 2006 – Man of the Year, The Catholic Education Fund.
  • 2006 – Marty Lyons Day, St. Petersburg, FL.
  • 2006 – Man of the Year, Smithtown Boosters.
  • 2007 – The Volunteer Center of United Way President’s Award Recipient.
  • 2007 – Hope House Ministries Honoree.
  • 2007 – Starlight Foundation Hall of Fame.
  • 2007 – The Regina A. Quick Humanitarian Award, Long Island Arthritis Foundation.
  • 2008 – Carry the Torch Award, Suffolk County Conservative Chairman’s Club.
  • 2008 – Humanitarian Spirit Award, Advancement for Commerce, Industry and Technology.
  • 2008 – Barbara Harmon “Unsung Hero” Award, Windows of Opportunity.
  • 2008 – Patriot Award, Seaford High School.
  • 2008 – Long Island Spirit Award, Long Island Association.
  • 2008 – Distinguished Citizen Award, Boy Scouts of America, Suffolk Council.
  • 2009 – Honoree of the NYPD “Finest” & FDNY “Bravest” Football Teams, 37th Fun City Bowl.
  • 2009 – Honoree of the New York Jets 50th Anniversary Season, 9th Kick-off Luncheon.
  • 2010 – Honoree, Nassau County Republican Party Dinner.
  • 2011 – The Carol Cris Community Service Award, Independence Party of Brookhaven Town.
  • 2011 – Honoree, The D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation.
  • 2011 – Heisman Humanitarian Award, The Heisman Trophy Trust.
  • 2012 – David Awards, Networking Magazine.
  • 2012 – Honoree, IGHL Foundation.
  • 2012 – The James Keller Award, The Christophers.
  • 2016 – The Dr. Kenneth N. Shelton Humanitarian Award, The Dennis Bligen Kidney Foundation.
  • 2016 – Honoree, The Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education.
  • 2017 – Honoree, Long Island Business News’ Icon Award.
  • 2019 – The President’s Award, Firefighters Charitable Foundation.
  • 2020 – Lifetime Achievement Award, Long Island Business News.