Two-time Eddie Robinson Award finalist Ed Lamb will enter his eighth season as head coach of Southern Utah University after taking the reins of the football program in 2008. His tenure has seen the program improve from an 0-11 squad that he inherited to the team’s first ever appearance at the FCS playoffs in 2013.
The run has included back-to-back winning seasons in 2010 and 2011 and an 8-5 mark in 2013, tying the best single-season win total in school history. The Thunderbirds have also captured a conference championship, the 2010 Great West Conference title, set numerous school records, and garnered multiple conference and national honors.
During his first year at SUU Coach Lamb turned around a program which had been mired in a 19-game slide, and while the 2008 team finished with just four wins, those were four more than the program had in any of the previous three seasons. SUU also broke through with its first road-win in four years when it stopped Southland Conference champion and 22nd-ranked Texas State, 34-30, in 2008.
That same season Lamb oversaw a program which put 11 players on the all-Great West Conference squad, including seven first-team selections as well as its special teams player of the year. The Thunderbirds finished the 2008 season ranked among the nation’s top-20 teams in punting and punt returns, passing offense and tackles-for-loss last year as well.
The improvement continued in 2009 when the team finished with a 5-6 mark, its best record since 2004. The team ranked among the nation’s top-20 programs in passing, pass efficiency, total offense, scoring offense and punt returns in addition to leading the nation on net punting.
The Thunderbirds had two all-Americans in 2009, placed 12 players on the all-conference squad and had 14 academic all-conference selections. SUU had individuals ranked among the nation’s top 10 in pass receptions, receiving yards, total offense, punt returns and scoring as well.
In 2010 the team continued its ascent, as the T-Birds claimed their first Great West championship with a perfect 4-0 mark in conference games, posted an overall 6-5 record, the team’s first winning record since 2004, and finished the season ranked among the nation’s top-30 in both the coaches and the media polls. Among the team’s five losses, only one came by more than eight points.
SUU matched 2010’s 6-5 record in 2011, a season which included the team’s first win over a FBS-level team in 14 seasons and only its second ever, a 41-16 win at UNLV. Although the team went through a three-game GWC skid midway through the year, SUU closed the season winning three of four games, including a win over UC Davis and victories at future Big Sky rivals Weber State and Northern Arizona, with the only setback a loss at then-No. 5 Northern Iowa.
SUU dominated the all-GWC teams in 2010 and 2011, with 14 selections in each season. In 2010 SUU had 10 first-team selections, four on the second-team and three more earning honorable mention. SUU wide receiver Tysson Poots was the GWC’s offensive player of the year in 2010 as well as a consensus first-team All-American.
In 2011 SUU swept the GWC’s individual awards, as QB Brad Sorensen was named offensive player of the year, DE Tyler Osborne earned defensive player of the year honors, RB/KR Austin Minefee was the special teams player of the year and WR/PR Brady Measom was the newcomer of the year. In addition to those honors, SUU had nine first-team and five second-team all-GWC selections, while Osborne and Minefee both earned all-America honors.
In 2012, in the program’s first season in the Big Sky, SUU notched wins over a pair of ranked teams, then-No. 1 Eastern Washington and then-No. 11 Northern Arizona, and picked up a road win at perennial BSC power Montana. Lamb’s T-Birds placed 13 players on all-BSC teams, and linebacker Zak Browning was tabbed as the league’s newcomer of the year. Browning and defensive end James Cowser were both Jerry Rice Award finalists and named freshman all-Americans and Sorensen was a Walter Payton Award finalist for the second straight season.
2013 saw the Thunderbirds qualify for their first-ever FCS playoff spot after matching a school-record eight wins, including road victories over No. 8 Montana State (22-14) and FBS opponent South Alabama (22-21). Freshmen Robert Torgerson and Chandler Dowell each picked up freshman All-American honors, with LB Zak Browning and K Colton Cook earning first-team all-Big Sky recognition. In all, SUU was honored with 16 all-Big Sky accolades with Cook also being recognized as a third-team All-American.
in 2014, SUU football went up against one of the toughest schedules in the Nation. The list of opponents included two FBS-level opponents in Nevada and Fresno State, along with five top-25 FCS opponents in #3 Southeastern Louisiana, #11 South Dakota State, and #2 Eastern Washington, #15 Montana and #22 Northern Arizona. SUU would end the season with a 3-9 record overall and 3-5 conference record, good enough for eighth place. During the season, newcomer Ammon Olsen emerged as the starting quarterback for the Thunderbirds and garnered Newcomer of the Year in the Big Sky Conference. James Cowser was a first-team all-conference award winner and broke the Big Sky record for tackles for loss.
Coach Lamb came to SUU from the University of San Diego, where he served as special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach for three years.
A 1996 graduate of Brigham Young University, Lamb helped guide the University of San Diego to three consecutive Pioneer League championships as well as back-to-back NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major National Championships in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 the USD special teams ranked first or second in the Pioneer League in every statistical category and the defense finished 2006 ranked fourth nationally after the Toreros completed an 11-1 season. While at USD Coach Lamb’s responsibilities included serving as the team’s budget manager and recruiting in addition to his on-field responsibilities.
Prior to joining the Toreros in 2005, Lamb spent two seasons as defensive coordinator at the University of Idaho where his 2003 team finished second in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring defense. As part of his duties as coordinator, his primary responsibility was with the Vandal secondary.
Coach Lamb spent the 2001 season on the BYU staff as a defensive assistant working with the linebackers. While with the Cougars he helped the squad to a 10-2 record and a Mountain West Conference title.
Lamb served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of Redlands from 1998 through 2000, where his teams went 21-6 overall and boasted the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s top scoring defense every year he was with the program. He also served as the Bulldogs’ recruiting coordinator.
Prior to becoming defensive coordinator at Redlands Lamb spent one season as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line.
As a student-athlete, Lamb played linebacker and defensive end from 1992-96 on Brigham Young University and BYU-Idaho teams which combined to win four conference championships.
Lamb and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of three daughters: Anna, Amelia and Summer, and son Claude Edward IV.
1997 University of Redlands
2008-Present Southern Utah Univeristy
1998 Master of Arts, Education Counseling, University of Redlands