Ward Lambert

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Ward Lambert
Sport(s)Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born(1888-05-28)May 28, 1888
Deadwood, South Dakota
DiedJanuary 20, 1958(1958-01-20) (aged 69)
Lafayette, Indiana
Playing career
Football
1909

Basketball
1909–1911

Baseball
c. 1910

Wabash


Wabash


Wabash
Position(s)Guard (basketball)
Shortstop (baseball)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Basketball
1912–1916
1916–1917
1918–1946

Baseball
1917
1919–1935
1945–1946

Lebanon HS (IN)
Purdue
Purdue


Purdue
Purdue
Purdue
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1946–1949NBL (commissioner)
Head coaching record
Overall371–152 (college basketball)
163–158–7 (college baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Basketball
1 Helms Athletic Foundation National (1932)
11 Big Ten
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1960 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
 
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Ward Lambert
Sport(s)Football, basketball, baseball
Biographical details
Born(1888-05-28)May 28, 1888
Deadwood, South Dakota
DiedJanuary 20, 1958(1958-01-20) (aged 69)
Lafayette, Indiana
Playing career
Football
1909

Basketball
1909–1911

Baseball
c. 1910

Wabash


Wabash


Wabash
Position(s)Guard (basketball)
Shortstop (baseball)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Basketball
1912–1916
1916–1917
1918–1946

Baseball
1917
1919–1935
1945–1946

Lebanon HS (IN)
Purdue
Purdue


Purdue
Purdue
Purdue
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1946–1949NBL (commissioner)
Head coaching record
Overall371–152 (college basketball)
163–158–7 (college baseball)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Basketball
1 Helms Athletic Foundation National (1932)
11 Big Ten
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1960 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Ward Louis "Piggy" Lambert (May 28, 1888 – January 20, 1958) was an American basketball and baseball coach. He served as the head basketball coach at Purdue University during the 1916–17 season and from 1918 to 1946. Lambert was also the head baseball coach at Purdue in 1917, from 1919 to 1935, and from 1945 to 1946. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960.

Early life and playing career[edit]

Lambert was born in Deadwood, South Dakota. In 1890, Lambert and his family moved to Crawfordsville, Indiana. He played basketball and baseball at Crawfordsville High School and Wabash College, both under coach Ralph Jones, who himself went on to coach Purdue. Despite his height (5'6"), Lambert led Wabash in scoring his sophomore year—leading to his nickname "Piggy" for hogging the ball. Another telling states that, while playing baseball at Wabash, Lambert used his position as shortstop to hog the ball. He graduated from Wabash College in 1911.

Coaching career[edit]

Lambert began his coaching career at Lebanon High School from 1912 to 1916, amassing a record of 69-18 (.793) a Sectional titles and 3 other post-season appearances.[1] Lambert coached Purdue University (1916–17, 1918–1946) to a 371–152 record in 29 seasons, including 11 Big Ten Conference titles. His teams were noted for their speed and effective use of fast breaks, which he developed. Among his players were Stretch Murphy and John Wooden. Lambert missed the 1917–18 season to serve in the United States Army during World War I. Meanwhile J. J. Maloney, an attorney from Crawfordsville, Indiana, filled in and guided the Boilermakers to an 11–5 record. Lambert's 1932 team were national champions, as determined by a panel vote rather than an NCAA Tournament, which began in 1939. He coached 16 All-Americans and 31 first team All-Big Ten selections. Lambert Fieldhouse (originally known as Purdue Fieldhouse), the facility used for home basketball games prior to the construction of Mackey Arena, was renamed in his honor.

Lambert also coached Purdue's baseball team in 1917, from 1919 to 1935, and from 1945 to 1946. Lambert Field, Purdue's former baseball stadium, is also named for Lambert.[2] He was listed as a scout for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball in 1948.[3]

Coaching tree[edit]

Lambert coached and mentored several future NCAA coaches; the most notable include: John Wooden, Mel Taube, Emmett Lowery, Donald White, Jim Hinga and Ray Eddy.

Administrative career, writing, and honors[edit]

Following his retirement from Purdue, he served as Commissioner of the National Basketball League during the final three years (1946–1949) of that league's tenure and was instrumental in its merger with the Basketball Association of America to form the National Basketball Association.

Lambert wrote Practical Basketball in 1932, one of the first "bibles" of the game. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

References[edit]

External links[edit]