But Lyman didn't have much of a choice, and he responded in as fine of a fashion as anyone could have asked, attracting success no one expected.
Lyman became Cottonwood's interim coach after Teko Johnson, recently hired from Mountain View, unexpectedly died July 21. Lyman, a former receiver at Skyline and the University of Utah, led the team to a 10-0 start before the Colts were upset by Jordan in the quarterfinals.
The results of Lyman's rookie year make it hard to believe he decided against applying for the job when it was open last winter.
"You never know when you're ready for it," he said. "The fact I got thrown into it, in the long run, probably has made me better."
In addition to the dazzling record, and Lyman's ability to also coach special teams and receivers, the 31-year-old needs to be recognized for his swift and appropriate response to an incident he would rather hadn't happened.
Lyman suspended his two best defensive players for the Jordan game after they admitted to drinking alcohol the weekend before.
Lyman admitted it was hard to punish the players, "especially when you're going into the biggest game of your career and the season. I think ultimately it was the right thing."
We're not the only ones who noticed Lyman's steady hand and firm grip. At the conclusion of the season, Cottonwood administrators officially hired Lyman as head coach, removing his interim title.
For a second time, they've made the right choice putting him in charge.
firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @oramb 3A, 4A, 5A All-State Football Teams: http://bit.ly/frAHUq 1A, 2A All-State Football Teams: http://bit.ly/igzYsT