Jim Lambright, who coached the University of Washington football team for six seasons (1993-98) after replacing the legendary Don James, has been charged with fourth-degree assault following a domestic violence investigation. The 72-year-old Lambright was arrested June 18 at his Snohomish-area home in connection with an incident involving his 23-year-old granddaughter, according to Snohomish County records.
Following the June 18 arrest, prompted by a Snohomish County deputy sheriff’s response to a 911 call, Lambright was booked into jail and released the next day on his personal recognizance. Booking is required in domestic violence cases.
Lambright’s wife of 34 years, Lynne, told police that she witnessed her husband’s assault on their granddaughter and added that the former coach “has consistently pushed and shoved her over the course of their marriage.” According to a probable cause document, Lambright’s wife “stated that she is truly a battered wife, both physically and verbally.”
Lambright told police that he was sick of his granddaughter’s “attitude” and asked her to leave his house. When she refused, Lambright grabbed her by her arms in an attempt to force her out. According to the deputy’s statement, Lambright yanked the granddaughter to the floor and dragged her five feet. At that point, she escaped and ran for help.
Lynne Lambright also told police that the ex-coach suffers from dementia and “explosive disorder.” In his probable-cause statement, the deputy wrote that Lynne and two granddaughters requested a no-contact order, saying they felt threatened by Lambright’s “escalating level of aggression.”
Snohomish Court documents relating to the case can be found here.
Lambright compiled a 44-25-1 record and coached the Huskies in four bowl games, winning the 1997 Freedom Bowl 51-23 over Michigan State. He was fired by athletic director Barbara Hedges following a 45-25 loss to Air Force in the 1998 Oahu Bowl.
Lambright started as a UW assistant coach under Jim Owens in 1969 and remained when James was hired in 1975. Lambright ultimately rose to defensive coordinator under James, holding the position for 16 years. Washington’s 1991 defense, anchored by All-America Steve Emtman, is regarded as one of the best in school history and was primarily responsible for UW claiming a share of the national championship.
An Everett native, Lambright earned two letters as a Husky player and won the Guy Flaherty (most inspirational player) award in 1964, when he also earned all-conference honors.