Jim Lambright was born and raised in Everett, the son of a fisherman. He played high school football for head coach Jim Ennis at Everett High School, graduating in 1960.
He earned a scholarship to the University of Washington where he earned two varsity letters as an undersized defensive end for head coach Jim Owens. As a senior in 1964, he received All-Conference and All-Coast honors and was named the UW’s Guy Flaherty Most Inspirational Award winner. That same year he was named The Everett Herald’s Man of the Year in Sports.
In 1969, Jim Owens hired Lambright as an assistant coach and in 1975, new head coach Don James retained him. In 1977, Coach James named Lambright as the team’s defensive coordinator and in 1987, he appointed him as assistant head coach.
Named the head coach at the UW in 1993, Lambright compiled a record of 44-25-1 and lead the Huskies to four bowl appearances. His 1995 squad shared the Pac-10 Conference title with a 6-1-1 record, while his 1996 team finished 9-3 overall and 7-1 in league play. Lambright participated in 386 games as a Husky player and coach, a feat unmatched by anyone in Husky football history.
In his 34 years as a Husky player and coach, Lambright redefined defensive football at the UW. As defensive coordinator for 16 years and assistant head coach for six more, he was the architect of defenses that ranked highly among the Pac-10’s statistical leaders.
For his contributions to Washington football, he was inducted into the University of Washington Husky Hall of Fame in 2006.