Ward L. Lambert

Nervously pacing the sidelines, Ward “Piggy” Lambert’s animated style of prodding demanded precision and execution from his teams. Diminutive in stature, Lambert was an innovative strategist and, during his 29 seasons, recruited players who fit into his coaching style: big players who could handle the ball and aggressive, ball-hawking perimeter players. At Purdue University, Lambert’s All-America lineup included Hall of Famers Charles “Stretch” Murphy and John Wooden. Lambert pioneered the fast-breaking style of hardwood play and his teams were always noted for their great speed. Lambert’s 1931-32 team went 17-1 and was named national champion by the Helms Foundation. Lambert compiled a career record of 371-152 and in 29 seasons all at Purdue experienced only three losing records. An energetic and prosperous coach, Lambert also authored the popular textbook, Practical Basketball published in 1932, one of the early bibles of the game.