Groz: Lambright’s UW Huskies had best defense in Seattle history
Throughout the history of Seattle sports, there have been some incredible defenses to come out of the Emerald City, but the defenses orchestrated by former UW Huskies coach and player Jim Lambright stand out above the rest according to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Dave “The Groz” Grosby.
Yes, the Seahawks had the “Legion of Boom” in the early- and mid-2010s, and even earlier than that, the franchise had great defenses in the 1980s and had the defensive player of the year, Cortez Kennedy, in the early ’90s. Additionally, the Seattle SuperSonics also put the clamps on opposing teams in the NBA throughout the 1990s, led by “The Glove” Gary Payton, a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member as well as the 1996 defensive player of the year.
But to The Groz, Lambright’s dominant defenses of the early 1990s were in a league all of their own.
“When you think of defense in Seattle the last 30 years, you think purple,” Grosby said. “The (1991) National Championship Huskies defense was a sight to behold with Steve Entman, an incredible core of linebackers and (defensive backs) that flew around everywhere, they were controlled chaos, the likes of which college football hasn’t seen since.”
Lambright was the brains behind the operation. He starred for the UW Huskies in the early ’60s before joining the coaching staff in 1969. He became the team’s defensive coordinator in 1978 and held that role until he was named head coach in 1993.
While defensive coordinator, the Huskies won six conference championships, three Rose Bowls and a national championship in 1991. As head coach, he went 44-25-1 and won a Pac-10 title. Lambright passed away Sunday, March 29 at the age of 77.
“‘Lambo’ was involved in more Husky games than any man, had a fairly successful head coaching career replacing Don James, including an all-time win, the ‘Whammy in Miami,’ snapping the ‘Canes 58-game home winning streak,” Groz said. “But he’ll always be linked to the ’91 team, which was perfect on the field and to me, the greatest defense in college football history.”