A new era will begin now at Southern Nazarene University as it named Andy Lambert as its head coach for football.
Lambert becomes the fourth coach in school history as the program heads into its 17th season in 2016. The Smith Center, Kansas, native spent the past 12 seasons at Sterling College in Sterling, Kansas. He helped the Warriors compile a 72-52 record and finished inside the top three in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference in eight of those years. He was named the KCAC Coach of the Year in 2004, 2007, and 2013. Lambert led Sterling to the program's first KCAC Championship in 2013 and the next year became the winningest coach in program history. He also recorded his 100th career win this past season.
"Through the hiring process we were impressed by Andy's enthusiasm and heart in growing student-athletes athletically, academically, and spiritually," said SNU Director of Athletics Bobby Martin. "Andy comes to SNU highly recommended by his peers and administrators. We are confident that Andy will lead this program in the direction that it needs to go.
"We are grateful for the job that Craig Hubbard and staff did this past year. It was a tough situation, but we are proud in the way he has led these young men over the past 10 seasons as our defensive coordinator and interim head coach."
Lambert brings to Bethany a career record of 102-95 as he spent seven years at his alma mater Trinity International University (Illinois). He was 22-11 over his final three seasons at TIU and led the Trojans to an 8-3 record and No. 19 ranking in the NAIA in his final season. He was the 2001 and 2003 Mid-States West Coach of the Year as TIU was the Mid-States West Co-Champion.
Lambert has a built a reputation of turning programs around. Both Trinity International and Sterling were in last place in their conference the year before Lambert arrived. Sterling did not record a win in the 2002 and 2003 seasons. The Warriors won nine games in the 2013 season and reached the NAIA Championship Series for the first time in school history.
"What Andy has done at Trinity and Sterling proves that he has a niche of finding ways to turn around programs," said Martin. "We expect that he can do the same at SNU and we look forward to the future."
While at Sterling, the Warriors garnered several awards that included the 2007 and 2014 KCAC Offensive Player of the Year, the 2013 and 2015 KCAC special Teams Player of the Year, and NAIA All-Americans in the 2007 and 2013 seasons. That 2013 team also led the KCAC with 18 Conference Scholar-Athletes and six NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athlete honorees.
Lambert also served as the director of athletics at Sterling from 2005-2011. He directed day-to-day operations and oversaw a $1.5 million renovation of the football stadium and track.
"Southern Nazarene's commitment to a Christian education and the implementation of taking our spiritual dynamic to whatever we do is one of the most attractive aspects in this job," Lambert said. "Our family is excited about the transition. We left a lot in Sterling and have great memories, but we are ready for the new enterprise here and the challenge of it all. I am just ready to get to work and see how things progress."
Lambert earned a bachelor's in physical education from Trinity International in 1991 and earned a master's in physical education from Chicago State in 1996. He and his wife, Betsy, have four daughters — Hannah, Lydia, Emma, and Sylvia.