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Collection on Piggy Lambert

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 27, Placement: 07
Identifier: MSF 215

Scope and Contents

Materials related to Coach Piggy Lambert include a letter to boosters seeking donations to celebrate Lambert's 25 year anniversary at Purdue; a news clipping listing Purdue basketball's record under Lambert; a copy of "Official Basket Ball Rules for Men and Women" by Lambert, circa 1929, as used by the NCAA, YMCA, and Amateur Athletic Union; an issue of "The First Aider" newsletter from 1936, containing the article "Preliminary Training for a Basketball Season" by Lambert; and five photographs of Lambert.


  • 1929 - 1942


Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Copyrights held by Purdue University or original creator. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Ward L. "Piggy" Lambert was born on May 28, 1888, in Deadwood, in the Dakota Territory (South Dakota became a state the following year). He grew up in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Lambert graduated from Wabash College in 1911 and completed post-graduate work in chemistry at the University of Minnesota. He taught chemistry and coached athletics at Lebanon High Schhool in Indiana until being hired by Purdue in 1916.

Lambert coached Purdue basketball from 1916-17 and 1918-1946. During the 1917-1918 season he served in the Army Field Artillery during World War One. Lambert also coached the Purdue baseball team for the 1917, 1919-1935, and 1945-1946 seasons.

Lambert retired from coaching in 1946 after the end of World War Two. He served as Commissioner of the National Professional Basketball League from 1946-1949. The 1948 Official Baseball Guide and Record Book listed Lambert as a scout for the New York Yankees.

Under Lambert's leadership, Purdue's basketball team won 11 Big Ten Conference titles. Lambert was widely respected as a ground-breaking coach, pioneering the "fast break" and "big man" tactics. He published on basketball coaching and techniques, including the book "Practical Basketball" in 1932. Lambert was known for coaching Ray Eddy, John Wooden, and Charles "Stretch" Murphy at Purdue, among other successful players.

Lambert married Grace Ward in 1928. He preceded her in death on January 20, 1958.

Lambert was named outstanding basketball coach in the United States in 1945 and was later named to the Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. He was also inducted in to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960 and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.


0.025 Cubic Feet (One folder)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Adam D. Rice donated "The First Aider" newsletter on December 19, 2019; four photographs on October 15, 2020; and one photograph and the "Official Basket Ball Rules" on June 17, 2021. Source and date of acquisition of other materials is unknown.

Processing Information

Materials housed in an acid-free folder and an acid-free box. "The First Aider" was added to the collection on December 19, 2019. The five Lambert photographs and "Official Basket Ball Rules" were added to the collection on July 9, 2021. Photographs are housed in archival sleeves.
Collection on Piggy Lambert
Mary A. Sego and Adriana Harmeyer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Third edition. Collection description was first completed 2011-06-10.

Revision Statements

  • 2018-05-21: Collection title and description updated from "Piggie" to "Piggy" by Adriana Harmeyer.
  • 2019-12-20: Collection title updated from Ward L. (Piggy) Lambert collection to Collection on Piggy Lambert by Adriana Harmeyer.
  • 2019-12-20: Collection description updated and "The First Aider" added to the collection by Adriana Harmeyer.
  • 2020-06-18: Collection description updated to new standards by Mary A. Sego.
  • 2021-07-09: Additional materials added to the collection from recent donations and associated description updated by Adriana Harmeyer.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States