- George Becnel
- March 21, 2018 - 7:15pm
Veteran coaches continue to show interest in the head football coaching position at East St. John.
The latest is former John Ehret coach Corey Lambert. Lambert was the coach at Ehret for five years, including leading the Patriots to the Class 5A state championship game in 2015 when they lost 46-12 to Zachary.
“I have 19 years of coaching experience and I’m looking for another challenge,” Lambert said. “I moved out to Luling four years ago and I’m closer to the area. I played against a lot of those guys. I’ve been coaching for 19 years and I’ve seen the good years of the East St. John teams. I’ve seen some teams that weren’t so good but I know what a job like East St. John in the River Parishes - you have a lot of potential to do some great things academically and athletically.”
Lambert’s familiarity with the River Parishes goes beyond the last four years as a resident. In his five years as Ehret coach, the Patriots faced River Parish teams 12 times. Lambert’s mark against River Parish teams was 5-7, with three of the losses coming during a 0-9 season is his first year as Patriots coach in 2012. The mark included wins over the likes of Riverside Academy and Hahnville. The Patriots lost a narrow 21-14 decision to Destrehan in the 2016 quarterfinals.
“I know them all well. I coached against Coach (Bill) Stubbs and those guys, (Steve) Robicheaux and those guys, Lou Valdin and also (Nick) Saltaformaggio. There is a lot of talent in that area and a lot of opportunity. For me, it’s closer to my home, now. It’s a new chapter in my life,” Lambert said.
East St. John is looking for a replacement for Alden Foster, who was recently dismissed after three years as the Wildcats' head coach.
A former Ehret quarterback, Lambert served as offensive coordinator of the Patriots for three years before being promoted to head coach in 2012.
After failing to win a game in 2012, Lambert’s Ehret squads never win less the nine games in each of the following four years. His five-year record as coach of the Patriots was 40-20.
The key to turning Ehret around, Lambert said, was getting everyone to believe in the program.
“It wasn’t easy. The coaches bought into the program and the community bought into the program. Those are the things I would like to do at East St. John being that I’m closer,” he said.
Lambert was out of coaching during the 2017 season.
Three weeks prior to the start of the season, Lambert was fired by Isaac Joseph, then the Superintendent of Jefferson Parish schools.
Joseph alleged Lambert had ignored system spending guidelines and had illegally recruited players. He also claimed Lambert fell behind in some evaluations as part of his job as an assistant principal.
In an appeal, a hearing officer disagreed with Lambert that the dismissal was “arbitrary and capricious” but a added the dual roles of assistant principal and head football coach was perhaps too much of a workload for a single individual.
A Louisiana High School Athletic Association investigation was unable to attest to any charges of recruiting violations by Lambert.
As a tenured employee, Lambert is still employed in the Jefferson Parish school system as a teacher.
“The ruling is what it is,” Lambert said. “Some things were said but later the ruling came that there was no wrongdoing. I’m still in the parish. One thing my lawyer was able to do was clear me from things that people wanted to say in the past.
“They said I was an assistant principal and head coach and it was just too much for any one person to do. To be assistant principal with a school of 2,500 kids and a head coach was a bit too much – and I thought it was.”