Original article (Erika Lambert Tabbed to Lead UNF Women’s Basketball Program) on the University of North Florida’s athletic website unfospreys.com.
North Florida Athletics is excited to welcome Erika Lambert as the next UNF women’s basketball head coach as announced by Director of Athletics Nick Morrow Thursday, April 6. Lambert brings in over a decade of coaching experience at the collegiate level, as well as time as a director of operations and a four-year stint as a dominant shot blocker as a Division I women’s basketball student-athlete. Lambert is the third coach in the program’s 31-year history.
Lambert will be formally introduced with a meet and greet in the UNF Arena’s Bank of England Suite Wednesday, April 19 at noon.
“I am honored to be the next head women’s basketball coach at the University of North Florida,” Lambert said. “My family and I cannot wait to be a part of Osprey Nation and the Jacksonville community. With Nick Morrow’s vision and President Limayem’s support, it’s a great time to join the team at UNF. Throughout the interview process and after many conversations across campus, the common thread was a genuine love for our student-athletes. I want our players at UNF to have a positive and transformative experience while competing to be at the top of the ASUN and developing championship habits for life.”
Lambert most immediately arrives at UNF after seven seasons serving as the Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Abilene Christian University in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and Southland Conference. During that stint, the Wildcats touted a dominant 184-83 record and 122-46 mark in league play, tallying four 23-plus win seasons.
In Abilene, Texas, Lambert served as the lead contact for on and off-campus recruiting, helping her earn the distinction from The Athletic as one of 22 assistants ready to lead their own program. She was also just one of 30 coaches nationwide to be named to the Women Coaches NEXT UP program in the spring of 2020. A strong and well-respected coach and recruiter, Lambert helped bring a Southland Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championship to ACU.
“We are so thrilled Coach Lambert is joining the Osprey Family,” Director of Athletics Nick Morrow said. “Erika has a proven record of success, reputation of being a tireless recruiter and is a rising star in the industry. Throughout the process, it became very clear that Erika takes a holistic approach to the development of the student-athlete and will run a program of integrity while also demanding excellence.”
ACU experienced tremendous individual success in addition to team championships during Lambert’s tenure. Lambert helped recruit and coach 16 All-Southland Conference picks, two league players of the year, one newcomer of the year and two all-newcomer team honorees. In 2019-20 the Wildcats ranked 10th in the country in scoring as well as 25th in three-pointers per game in 2022-23.
Prior to her considerable stint at Abilene Christian, Lambert had multiple assistant coaching stops between the Division I and Division III ranks. From 2014-15 she guided Bethel University to the NCAA Tournament and a 14-4 record in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. Prior to that she aided in Ohio Wesleyan’s 17-win improvement from a year prior during the 2013-14 season.
Her familiarity with the southeast was built by a span of nine years in the Palmetto State between stretches at Charleston Southern and her alma mater, Charleston. The New York State native got her first collegiate coaching opportunity at Charleston Southern as an assistant coach for the Buccaneers. During her two seasons, CSU earned the program’s most wins in a 13-year span, garnering a spot in the Women’s Basketball Invitational. That season saw the Bucs represented with the 2011-12 Student-Athlete of the Year and two Big South All-Conference picks.
Prior to that, Lambert spent 2004-11 across town in Charleston, serving as the College of Charleston Director of Women’s Basketball Operations for over three years and as a four-year letterwinner for the Cougars.
A team captain from 2006-08, Lambert finished her career first in the school’s Division I era and second all-time in shots blocked (164) and blocks per game (1.6). She set the school record for most field goals in a game (13) and was a three-year Southern Conference Academic Honor Roll and Student-Athlete Advisory Board member. Her senior season saw Lambert honored as the ExCel Minority Female Student-Athlete of the Year.
Extremely involved in her profession and community off the court, Lambert has been an active participant in ACU’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Program, ACU Apprentice Program, African American Women’s Initiative, Student-Athlete Diversity Council, ACU Staff Senate and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
A member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Women Leaders in College Sports, Lambert was also a co-founder of “Moms in Coaching”, developing the group alongside head Florida State women’s basketball coach, Brooke Wyckoff.
Lambert earned two bachelor’s degrees from Charleston and also her Master’s of Public Administration and a certificate of Urban Planning at CofC. Lambert and her husband, Paul, have two daughters, Ava and Mya.
Career at a Glance
Head Coach – UNF Women’s Basketball (April 2023 – Present)
Associate Head Coach & Recruiting Coordinator – Abilene Christian University Women’s Basketball (2015-2023)
Volunteer Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – Bethel University (2014-15)
Volunteer Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – Ohio Wesleyan University (2013-14)
Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach – Charleston Southern University (2011-13)
Director of Women’s Basketball Operations – College of Charleston (2008-11)
Women’s Basketball DI Student-Athlete – College of Charleston (2004-08)