BUFFALO, NY - University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi has announced that John Lambert, senior associate athletic director, will serve as interim athletic director of the Division of Athletics effective March 14.
He succeeds Warde Manuel, who earlier this week was appointed athletic director at the University of Connecticut, beginning in March.
“I would like to thank President Satish Tripathi and the senior leadership team at the University at Buffalo for having the confidence in me to lead the Division through this very exciting period of our growth,” said Lambert. “I am honored that the President has afforded me this opportunity and am fortunate to work with some of the best athletic administrators, coaches and student athletes in the country. This assembled team of individuals will help to cooperatively move our division forward during this transition.”
UB is launching a national search, and expects to name a permanent athletic director within three months.
“Our President has proven through several other successful appointments during his short tenure, that he is committed to a national search to identify the best candidate to continue our momentum both in the classroom and on the fields of play,” said Lambert. “I am prepared to serve in whatever role the President identifies to help facilitate that process in a timely manner.”
“I am grateful to John for his willingness to serve in this important role in an interim capacity, and I extend my thanks and appreciation to Warde and the entire Division of Athletics team for their continuing commitment to our university’s vision of excellence,” Tripathi said.
“Warde’s exceptional leadership over the past six years and the ongoing efforts and dedication of the entire UB athletics leadership team have set our university’s intercollegiate athletics program on a clear course of excellence. Thanks in large part to this strong leadership, we are also very well positioned to attract outstanding candidates in this national search.”
“Warde Manuel is a committed friend and mentor who truly created the infrastructure to prepare for this inevitable moment in our history,” Lambert adds. “During his appointment as Vice President and Director of Athletics at Buffalo; he assembled a team of coaches and administrators to operate the daily activities of the athletics program. Those individuals will continue to serve in a leadership role as part of a transition team in athletics to lead the division until a permanent replacement for Warde is identified. Warde’s contribution to the University at Buffalo was more about assembling a team that works collaboratively and that will be his legacy. Our staff has every intention to continue to implement these principles in the successful manner he directed. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Warde, his wife Chrislan, Emma and Evan and wish them continued success as they prepare for this exciting opportunity as a family at UCONN.”
Lambert joined the university in 1996 and currently leads the athletics division’s development effort after several successful years overseeing the external relations operation for athletics. Among his many substantial contributions to the university and its athletics program over the years, he was instrumental in the department’s move to Division I-A and the Mid-American Conference, created a highly successful endowed scholarship program within the athletics division and has helped to guide a number of significant capital projects to fruition.
He has been widely recognized for his professional achievements, earning many system-wide and national awards, including being named Division I-A Marketer of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators in 2001. Within the Western New York region, he serves on the boards of The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission.
Nationally, he is an active member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the National Association of Athletic Development Directors.
“Until a permanent successor is in place, I pledge to provide leadership to the division and continuity during this transition. I have every confidence that with the strong leadership and guidance of our President and the support of alumni, friends and the Western New York community, we will continue to build on the successes realized during Warde’s tenure and actively compete for MAC Championships now and in the future.”
Lambert lives in Amherst with his wife Kelly, daughter Lindsey, who is a junior at UB, and son Dylan, a freshman at Williamsville North High School.