Lansing High School boys basketball coach Rod Briggs is the winner of the Paul Lambert Coach of the Year Award, presented Wednesday to Briggs by William Jewell College men’s basketball coach Larry Holley.
Briggs’ squad finished the 2013-14 season with a 25-0 record and won the Kansas Class 5A state championship. It was the fourth consecutive year that the Lions had reached the state semifinals. His 2011 and 2012 teams finished fourth, and last year’s team placed second at the state tournament.
The Lions also were Kaw Valley League champions and won the Shawnee Mission West Invitational, defeating Blue Springs South in the championship game.
Briggs has a record of 138-47 in his eight years at Lansing. His 19-year career record, including Kansas high school stops at Ulysses, Parsons and Liberal, is 260-164.
The Paul Lambert Award is named after Paul Lambert Jr., a 1956 graduate of William Jewell. Lambert died in a hotel fire in 1978. His widow, Carol Lambert Spence, established the award in his memory through William Jewell.
Lambert’s coaching career began at Moberly (Mo.) High School. He also coached collegiately at Drake, Pittsburg State, Hardin-Simmons (Texas) and Southern Illinois. He had just accepted the coaching position at Auburn at the time of his death.