Monday, February 28, 2011

Donnan: Lambert competitive, adaptive

I'll be posting more about new 49ers football coach Brad Lambert throughout the day. Check back every couple of hours or follow me on Twitter (@davidscott14) to be alerted...


Brad Lambert has worked for two head coaches in his 23-year career as a college football assistant: Jim Donnan and Jim Grobe.

Donnan hired Lambert as a grad assistant at Oklahoma in 1988, then took him to Marshall in 1990 and Georgia in 1996, staying with the Bulldogs until Donnan was fired in 2001. Lambert then spent 10 seasons at Wake under Grobe.

"He's the right guy for UNC Charlotte from my standpoint," said Donnan, who is now a TV analyst. "He's been around college football on both levels, I-A and I-AA. He knows about fund raising. He's a very cocompetitive guy and very adaptive, which he's going to need since he's starting a new program there."

Lambert was part of several successful teams with Donnan. Marshall won the NCAA FCS championship in 1992 and lost in the championship game in three other seasons. At Georgia, Lambert was linebackers coach on Bulldogs teams that won four straight bowls.

"He's got a really good feel for how to handle people and players," said Donnan. "Every guy has a motor that runs differently. He makes sure he taps into that."

Donnan said Lambert understands what will go into not only his first head coaching job, but starting a program from scratch.

"They don't have helmets, shoes or anything there yet," said Donnan. "But when we were at Marshall, we were building a new stadium, so he knows what it's like to have your office in the gym, to take a bus to practice, things like that. He's done that.

"Marshall, it was so different from Oklahoma. So he had to learn with me about partial scholarships, Pell Grants, getting transfers in ... the things he's going to have to do starting up a new deal at Charlotte. He's not going to get the pick-of-the-litter players. He's going to have to bring them in and develop them, which he's done before."

"He has the one ability to meet people, he's very genuine. He gets his message across and can get people dialed in and get behind him. And he's going to need that support."


Tim Collie said...

He's just happy to get a contract for a few years - Judy Rose M.O.

Anonymous said...

I like hearing this! I know behind the scenes there was a reason not to hire Amato. Seems those reasons are reinforced now. I am looking to watch Lambert in action!

Anonymous said...

I'm available to take off work tomorrow to answer the phones for FSL sales! Just let me know!

Anonymous said...

I trust our AD to make the right hire! Just look how well we have done the last 10 years!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the continued coverage David.

Matt - '06

Robert S said...

Big Lambert fan. I will be at the press conference tomorrow to support him and get my family PSLs