Wake Forest hires Brad Lambert as defensive coordinator

Wake Forest has hired Purdue's Brad Lambert, the former Charlotte head coach, as defensive coordinator.

Lambert returns to Wake Forest, where he served as an assistant from 2001 to 2010, spending the final three seasons as Demon Deacons' defensive coordinator. He then became the first head coach at Charlotte, which began competing in the FCS in 2013 before transitioning to FBS in 2015.

Fired after the 2018 season, Lambert spent two years as defensive coordinator at Marshall, where he oversaw the nation's No. 2 defense in 2020. He then came to Purdue, which improved significantly on defense this past season while going 9-4, tying its highest wins total since 2003. Purdue held four opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1978.

"Brad Lambert is an extremely accomplished coach and has a long track record of helping young men achieve great success on and off the field throughout his career," Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said in a prepared statement. "With his experience as a head coach and leading some of the top defensive units in the country, he will come to Winston-Salem and make an immediate impact on our program. His background at Wake Forest will help him hit the ground running as he builds great relationships with our players and gets on the recruiting trail."

Lambert, 56, replaces Lyle Hemphill, who is joining Duke's staff as safeties coach under Mike Elko. Wake Forest went 11-3 this season and won its first ACC Atlantic Division title since 2006.