CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte football program announced its first football coach today at a press conference in the Salons at the university's Barnhardt Student Activity Center. Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois and Athletic Director Judy Rose introduced Brad Lambert as the man at the helm of the first football team at Charlotte.
"We come today to the most important decision, the selection of our first head coach," Chancellor Philip Dubois said. "Today we give Charlotte football its first face, and from this point forward its most important representative. I've spent a lot of time looking at his background, and, over the past few days while negotiating his contract, looking into his eyes. He is first and foremost a man of integrity."
"Today we first introduce the man who will lead our first group of 49er football players into our new stadium," Athletic Director Judy Rose said. "He comes with a strong and successful background fully in place. In my exhaustive search and research he was identified as an individual of extremely high character and integrity, two qualities that have been the foundation that have made all of the Charlotte 49er programs successful, and two qualities that will be at the core of the 49er football success."
"This is a very exciting day for our family," Lambert said. "It is the next step in the creation of the football program at Charlotte. We are not only excited about this opportunity, but humbled as well to be entrusted to lead this team. The first thing that came through was their vision. They have big vision here. They want to do it the right way. They want to be one of the best FCS programs in America. The plan that is in place is great, the stadium, the field house, the budgets in place, the committee structure in place will allow us to be successful. Everywhere I turn, the energy and the excitement are infectious. That is important to us.
"We are going to build this program on three things: character, humility and toughness," Lambert continued. "We are going to get the right people involved and hire the right guys. We are going to recruit high-character guys who can be successful here academically and help us win championships. Our guys on the field will play with great discipline, but they are going to play like their hair is on fire. They are going to play fast and they are going to play hard. That is all done through relationships. The relationships we have with our guys, our players and our coaches, is most important to me. That is the key to any successful team for us."
Over his 23-year career, Lambert has won an NCAA National Championship, won an Atlantic Coast Conference title, been to eight bowl games, four NCAA National Championship games and enjoyed a winning pct. of over 62 percent.
Lambert served as Defensive Coordinator for the Demon Deacons the last three years. He served as Linebackers Coach and Special Teams Coach at Wake Forest from 2001-2009. He served as secondary, linebackers, special teams and defensive ends coach while at Georgia and a secondary and defensive ends coach at Marshall.
In his 10 years under Jim Grobe at Wake Forest, he was an integral part of the Deacons most successful football era. He was the Linebackers Coach on Wake Forest's 2006 ACC Champion team and was a part of four Bowl Game appearances, including three straight from 2006-2008. In 2008, he coached Butkus Award winner Aaron Curry, as the Deacons advanced to their third straight bowl game: the 2008 EagleBank Bowl.
The Deacons had five winning seasons during Lambert's tenure, including the 11-3 ACC Championship team and Orange Bowl team in 2006 and the 9-4 squad that advanced to the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl. In 2008, Lambert's first as Defensive Coordinator, the Deacons went 8-5 to cap a three-year run in which Wake Forest put together an overall 28-12 record and a 15-9 mark in the ACC while earning bids to the three straight bowl games. Over the course of his 10-year run at Wake Forest, Lambert helped the Deacons to a 61-60 record.
Lambert also announced his first assistant coach, Jeff Mullen, who will serve as Offensive Coordinator on Lambert's staff. Mullen spent the last three seasons at West Virginia as Offensive Coordinator for the Mountaineers. Prior to his stint at West Virginia, Mullen coached on the Wake Forest staff from 2001-07. A Lima, Ohio, native, Mullen coached the quarterbacks with the Demon Deacons from 2003-07 and the offensive line from 2001-02. Mullen also coached at Ohio and Hawaii in his 18 years of coaching experience.
"We want to run an up-tempo, spread-type of football," Mullen said. "It will be the type of offense West Virginia ran the past couple of years and what Wake Forest ran before that, but it all depends on the quarterback we get. "
"Jeff is the kind of guy we want around us," Lambert said. "He is a high-character guy and a good football coach. He has the whole package and we are so excited that he has committed to come with us. We are so excited to have him and his family to join us."