In the Summer of 2021, the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association’s Executive Board voted unanimously to establish the Cody Lambotte “Courage in Coaching” Award. The focus of this award is to recognize wrestling coaches who, in the face of adversity and challenges, continue to find a way to serve their programs and, more importantly, their wrestlers through the difficult challenges that life can bring. Their courage and determination teach all of us about resilience, grit, dedication, and the unwillingness to surrender, which are all essential traits that we hope the sport of wrestling can teach young men and women.
In addition to creating the award, the KWCA Board also voted to present the Inaugural "Courage in Coaching" Award to Rossville Head Coach Cody Lambotte. The award presentation will take place at the KWCA "Fritz Knorr" Fall Clinic and Awards Banquet on Saturday, October 9, at the Hilton Homewood Suites in Salina.
Lambotte was a graduate of Rossville High School, where he accumulated a 136-17 overall record. He was a 4-time state qualifier, and he finished as state runner-up as a junior and third as a Senior. From there, Lambotte attended Labette Community College and was part of the 2005 National Championship Team there. He then went on to the University of Nebraska Kearney. While at Kearney, Lambotte was part of 2 National Runner-Up Teams, and in 2008 he was a Team Captain on their National Championship Team.
Lambotte started his coaching career as an Assistant Coach at Rossville from 2010 through 2016. He was the KWCA Assistant Coach of the Year in 2014. Since 2017 he has served as the Co-Head Coach and continues to this present day. He has coached 35 state placers and 13 state champions in his 12 years. This run includes 4 Team State Trophies. In addition to his High School coaching, he has been a coaching staff member for Tteam Kansas for the Junior Dual Teams, Southern Plains, Folkstyle Nationalss, and Fargo.
In April 2017, Cody was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Cody has battled ALS head-on just like he battled opponents for years on the mat. He has never quit following wrestling, coaching wrestling, or developing his wrestlers to be great young men on and off the mat. In addition, Cody focuses on his family, including his 7-year old son Lincoln, and his friends.
According to co-head coach Courtney Horgan, “One of the few good things to come from COVID-19 is everything is live-streamed now. Instead of having to wait for Hudl, Cody could watch live and give immediate feedback. This man has been a huge part of shaping our program and continues to do so despite his disease. Without a doubt, Coach Lambotte is the toughest son of a gun I know.”
Congratulations to Coach Lambotte!