Friends and Family Keep ‘Moose’ Legacy Alive


Payton Herr

Chad Lambert’s memorial card lies on a table at his funeral.

Hearts were shattered the afternoon of Friday, Mar. 1, 2019, when friends, family and loved ones received the news of the death of a Logansport native Chad Lambert, or Moose. 

Lambert was widely known for his dedication to Logansport athletics on and off the playing field. To most, he wasn’t just a coach, he was the one to provide meals or pay for sports fees for those who were unable to. 

For friends and family, keeping the Moose legacy alive is their top priority. 

Friends, family and loved ones gather together at one of the Chad Lambert memorials. (Courtesy of Richard Smith)

“Chad loved coaching kids,” Richard Smith said. “He talked to me all the time about his desire to coach kids at the high school level. Chad was a very competitive person, and he drove his players in both baseball and basketball to constantly get better. One thing that has stood out to me both before and after his passing is the relationship he had with his players. Those kids loved ‘Moose,’ and that meant everything to him.” 

Smith was a childhood friend of Lambert. He recalls Lambert being widely known for his two sayings, “Let’s Go” and his attitude of coaching “’em hard and hug ‘em after.”

“Chad and I knew one another growing up,” Smith said. “Chad was a year younger than I am, so we never had classes together. We played baseball and basketball against one another. Chad and I got closer after school due to both of us loving Indiana basketball. We talked about it all of the time. When we weren’t talking about Indiana basketball, we talked about other sports.”

Smith is one of many who contribute to the Chad Lambert Youth Athletic Fund.

“The Chad Lambert Youth Athletic Fund is set up to continue to help Cass County kids originally in sports, but it has continued to grow into scholarships as well,” Smith said. “It’s there to help a kid in need get a pair of basketball shoes, or maybe a new glove. The benefits we have to raise money are we have a baked goods auction on the first Sunday of the NCAA tournament at Polsinelli’s and The Dutch Mill has a golf outing every September. Then, the Harvey Darche Golf Tournament has been a huge contributor as well.” 

Surrounding school corporations are also invited to compete in sporting events in honor of Lambert.

The Logansport Junior High School basketball team holds the Chad Lambert trophy after winning the tournament in 2019. (Courtesy of Chad Lambert Youth Athletic Fund)

“Every November, we have the Chad ‘Moose’ Lambert Memorial Basketball Tournament at the Berry Bowl,” Smith said. “Eight schools are invited, bringing both seventh and eighth-grade teams to play a tournament. Kids are provided with donuts, pizza and drinks all day long while the games are going on. There is also a Chad Lambert Memorial Baseball Tournament. The fund has purchased basketballs, softballs, and other equipment across many of the sports teams for not just Logansport, but the county schools as well.”

Logansport Junior High School works alongside the Lambert family and Brad Darche to operate the Chad Lambert Memorial Basketball Tournament.

Chad was a great coach and person,” LJHS athletic director Justin Herrold said. “He was always willing to help a student-athlete when needed. He truly cared about his kids. Chad and coach Darche made a great team. The Chad Lambert Invite that we host each year alongside the Lamberts is a great way to honor Chad and his contribution to youth sports. Coach Darche and, of course, the Lamberts had much to do with getting that event off the ground. It has been a success each year.”

Darche coached alongside Lambert at the middle school level.

Chad Lambert stands alongside Curtis Wilson and his Burger King Orioles after they placed second in a little league tournament. (Payton Herr)

“Coach Darche started off coaching alongside Chad Lambert at Columbia Middle School,” Herrold said. “Later, he began coaching his own team. He has coached for us for several years. He spent most of that time with the boys’ program, but he is now coaching eighth-grade girls at LJHS.”

Over the weekend, Darche took his eighth-grade girls team to the famous Hoosier Gym in Knightstown to play in a tournament completely paid for by the Chad Lambert Youth Atheltic Fund. 

“Chad absolutely inspired me to keep playing at the Hoosier Gym,” Darche said. “I know Chad would love that. He was always in those kids, and we would take our kids down there and play in the Hoosier Gym.”

Darche and Lambert had a unique story. 

“Shawn Teague had two sons in the NBA title, Jeff and Marquis. Jeff won an NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021,” Darche said. “When Marquis was being recruited by IU, Shawn Teague would let me on recruiting visits with him. When we were leaving, Tom Crean, the coach at the time, gave us free tickets for any game. Every time we went, we would go downtown. There was Chili’s, a steak house, and White Castle. We would always go to White Castle because Chad loved White Castle.” 

Brad Darche stands alongside his eighth-grade girls basketball team before competing at the Hoosier Gym. (Courtesy of Chad Lambert Youth Athletic Fund)

Darche has been involved with the Chad Lambert Athletic fund for a while now. He was also able to purchase a shooting gun for the basketball team along with Christmas presents for a middle school athlete and siblings who would not have presents.

“With my golf outing, I’ve been able to donate money to it,” Darche said. “Through the athletic fund, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot like the shooting gun and being able to get those presents.” 

It’s a team effort when it comes to keeping the legacy alive.

“What has been done with Chad’s fund isn’t about what any one person has done,” Tim and Joni Lambert said, “This community, along with Chad’s friends and family have gone above and beyond to support this fund.” 

The community has played a key role for everyone involved. 

“Losing someone like Chad, at his age, that’s a hard pill to swallow for all of us,” Smith said. “I was lucky enough to be close to Chad and his parents for several years now. The support they were shown by this community had a huge part in their ability to keep positive after he passed. We know that Chad is smiling down on the fact that the community has stepped in to replace such a huge loss to Cass County Youth.”