WESTWOOD (CBS) – Gerry Lambert, the varsity baseball coach at Xaverian Brothers High School, is charged with assaulting one of his own players during a game.
The unidentified player was at bat during a game against St. John’s Prep Wednesday when he started arguing with the umpire about a call. Westwood Police said Lambert came out of the dugout, got into an argument with the player and then grabbed him by the neck. Police were called, but coaches broke up the fight before officers got there.
Several witnesses were interviewed and Lambert was charged with one count of assault and battery. He will be summonsed to court.
Westwood Police Chief Jeffrey Silva said witnesses reported, “The player was up at home plate. There was some conversation regarding a call that an umpire had made. There was then some conversation between the coach and the player.”
Headmaster Daniel Skala said Lambert has been placed on leave from his coaching and teaching positions.
“This does not reflect on his character. He’s been a faculty member here for 25 years and a coach for 18 years on the varsity team and this is an anomaly,” Skala said.
Lambert graduated from Xaverian in 1988 and is a veteran teacher. He will remain on leave during the investigation.
Skala said the school is cooperating with investigators.
“I’m disappointed because his behavior certainly doesn’t represent the high standards we expect from our coaches and our athletes,” Skala said.
Jay Iannoni, an assistant coach, has taken over the team until further notice.
School leaders met with baseball players and their parents Thursday afternoon, apologizing for the incident
“In meeting with the baseball team this afternoon to help them process what happened at yesterday’s game, we focused on the player’s well-being and the inherent importance of our ability to support one another during this time,” said Skala.
Skala said the team was shocked. “This is not the coach they’ve come to know and respect,” he said.
One parent said she was happy with how the school was handling the situation. “They’re handling it very well, very professional.”