The Santa Monica-Malibu school district assessed 30 applications and interviewed eight candidates in a search that yielded Ramsey Lambert as Santa Monica High School’s new football coach.
Lambert arrives after one season in his first head-coaching gig at La Canada and replaces Travis Clark, who left the Vikings after six years at the helm to take the same position at Lawndale.
Lambert will be employed full-time by the district and will be teaching a freshman seminar in addition to his coaching duties. Salary details were not immediately available.
The search for Clark’s replacement involved a selection committee of 10 people who discussed the attributes they sought in a new football coach.
The committee included Samohi athletic director Al Trundle, an administrator, a former coach (not Clark) and an assistant coach as well as three players, a parent, an athletics official and a representative of the Viking Fund, the school’s athletics booster club.
“We warmly welcome Ramsey to the Samohi family,” school house principal Elias Miles said in a statement. “After assessing our school and school district’s vision, along with the core values of our community, we created a list of characteristics and qualities we wanted in our next head coach. We conducted an extensive coaching search that identified Ramsey as the perfect person to lead our program.”
Lambert was drawn to Santa Monica by the size and location of the school and the tradition of the football program. The Vikings went 5-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play last year, losing in the first round of the section playoffs.
“The expectations are going to be lofty,” he said. “There’s good spirit. We have to be able to compete for a league title. I know they were senior-laden last year, and there’s going to be a building process, but you can coach, and by the time you hit league everyone’s pretty experienced. I want us to be battling for one of the top two spots.”
Lambert, who was born in Hawaii and raised in California, played football at Hesperia High and turned to coaching after sustaining an injury at Victor Valley College in Victorville. He studied kinesiology at the University of Hawaii.
The 32-year-old served as an assistant at Victorville-Silverado and Hesperia-Oak Hills before taking the top job at La Canada.
Lambert made his new position Twitter-official, changing his handle from @LCfootballcoach to @SamohiFBcoach.
Lambert said he’s already started reviewing game film of the Vikings online to get a sense for the kinds of athletes he’ll have on the team this coming season.
He said he wants to analyze his players’ strengths further before committing to particular schemes on offense and defense.
“I’ve always been an option team with a strong offensive line — with size, we like the power run game,” he said. “A few times, with thinner groups up front, we were able to run some zone read. … I’d like to evaluate the personnel more first.”
Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.