Ward Lambert

Ward “Piggy” Lambert (1888-1958)

Teams coached: Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue record: 371-152 (.709)
Overall record: 371-152 (.709)

Career Accomplishments:


  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 1960)
  • National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 2006)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1918-1946 Purdue
1916-1917 Purdue

Ward Lambert Facts

  • Ward Louis Lambert
  • Born May 28, 1888
  • Died January 20, 1958
  • Hometown: Crawfordsville, Indiana
  • Alma Mater: Wabash College (BA, 1911)
  • Born in South Dakota and raised in Indiana, played basketball and baseball at Crawfordsville HS (IN)
    • Went on to play both (plus football) at Wabash College in Crawfordsville
  • Started coaching in 1912 at Lebanon HS (IN), going 69-18 over four years
  • Became the head basketball and baseball coach at Purdue in 1916, where he would work three decades
    • Was 371-152 in 29 seasons on the hardwood, winning eleven Big Ten titles during his tenure
    • His 1932 team was retroactively named national champion by the Helms Foundation
    • Missed the 1917-18 season, as he was serving in the US Army for the end of World War I
    • Retired from both coaching positions in 1946
  • Served as Commissioner for the final three seasons of the National Basketball League (NBL), 1946-49
  • Inducted into the Naismith HOF in 1960 and the inaugural 2006 class of the College Basketball HOF
    • Indiana Basketball HOF (1962), Wabash Athletics HOF (1982) & Purdue Athletics HOF (1994)

Ward Lambert Coaching Tree

  • Ray Eddy (Purdue)
  • Blair Gullion (Washington MO, Connecticut, Cornell, Tennessee, Earlham)
  • Jim Hinga (Ball State)
  • Emmett Lowery (Tennessee, UW-River Falls)
  • Doxie Moore (Milwaukee Hawks)
  • John Sines (Tennessee, Lawrence)
  • Mel Taube (Carleton, Purdue, UMass)
  • Donald White (Rutgers, Connecticut, Washington MO)
  • John Wooden (UCLA, Indiana State)