Randy Lambert concluded his 39th and final season directing the Maryville College basketball program in the 2018-19 season.
Lambert is no stranger to the local community. He was born in Maryville, graduated from Maryville High School in 1972 and continued his education at Maryville College. As a member of the Scots basketball team, Lambert was a four-year starter and garnered numerous honors, including as the 16th leading scorer in the nation during his senior year. With 1,489 career points, he is currently listed as the sixth leading scorer in MC basketball history.
Lambert’s first season as head coach of the Scots began in 1980 after three successful years at Lenoir City (Tenn.) High School. During his early years at MC, Lambert was faced with a major rebuilding task. Under his direction, the 1984-1985 Scots finished the regular season 17-8 and 11-3 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, clinching the conference championship.
During the remaining seasons of the 1980’s, the MC cagers recorded a string of winning records. This was merely a sign of things to come for Lambert’s talented troops in the decade of the 1990’s.
The 1990-1991 team shattered almost every school record in basketball. The team finished 22-5 and made the trip to the national tournament- the first such trip in MC’s basketball history. Lambert’s 1991-1992 squad did even better, ending the season with a 25-4 record. This outstanding team was ranked sixth nationally in the final poll and received the No.1 seed in the South for the national tournament. This team advanced to the final round of eight and was defeated in the finals of the sectional by Wisconsin-Platteville (87-83, O.T.).
Building on the success of his teams in the early 1990’s, Lambert’s program was a regular participant in the NCAA Division III National Tournament. His Scots posted 12 consecutive trips to the NCAA post-season, 19 overall. During the decade of the 2000’s Lambert’s Scots posted a .797 winning percentage which ranks No. 7 nationally. His 264 victories during the decade were the sixth best by any school within the NCAA Division III.
During the 2017-18 season, Lambert surpassed major milestones within his career. He was named USA South Coach of the Year following the Scots' championship run. The 38-year veteran coached his 1,000th career game against N.C. Wesleyan College on Jan. 6, 2018, before winning his 700th career victory on February 23 in the USA South Semifinals with a 70-66 win over Methodist University. He became only the eighth coach in Division III men's basketball to reach the 700-win plateau and only the fourth coach in all of the NCAA to accomplish the feat at his alma mater.
With 722 career victories, Randy Lambert was one of the most successful NCAA Division III coaches. He finished his career ranked fourth in the country among active head coaches in career victories. Among all-time Division III coaches, Lambert is ranked eighth in total victories, while he is ranked 25th across NCAA Division III by winning percentage. He ranks 42nd all-time across all divisions with 722 wins, passing John Wooden’s 664 win total in 2016-17. Backed by its consistency in winning and its up-tempo style of play, his program was considered one of the best in the nation. Lambert’s career record is 722-325 for a winning percentage of .689.
Coach Lambert serves the College as the Athletics Campaign Coordinator beginning in July of 2018.
Lambert and his wife, Laney, have three children — Kami, Jason, and Wes. He and Laney also have four grandchildren — Luke, Isaac, Emma, and Kaylee.
The Lambert Era
Career (39) 722-325 (.689)