College Sports

Ball State coach Pete Lembo joins Maryland staff as special teams coordinator

Maryland announced Ball State coach Pete Lembo will join coach DJ Durkin's staff as assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Tuesday afternoon.

The 45-year-old Lembo, a 15-year head coach, has spent the past five years at Ball State, where he was 33-29, including a 10-3 season in 2013. Overall, Lembo was 112-65 as a head coach.


"I'm really excited to be adding someone the caliber of Pete Lembo to my staff," Durkin said in a release. "Pete brings a great deal of experience as a head coach and a proven track record of success. He's been especially successful coaching special teams units and we'll immediately improve with him on board."

Lembo becomes the third member of Durkin's coaching staff who coached this fall. Former Virginia coach Mike London and former Syracuse coach Scott Shafer joined as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator, respectively, and Lembo brings the previous head coaching experience on the staff to 26 years.


Ball State kicker Steven Schott was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist and punter Scott Kovanda was a Ray Guy Award finalist in 2012 under Lembo, and kicker Scott Secor was the Mid-American Conference Special Teams Player of the Year in 2014.

Lembo joins the staff of a former special teams coordinator at Stanford and Florida in Durkin.

"I have really enjoyed getting to know Coach Durkin recently and couldn't pass on this great opportunity to be on his staff," Lembo said in a release. "I'm excited to work with the terrific coaching staff that's already in place at the University of Maryland and am looking forward to building this into a highly competitive team in the Big Ten and beyond."

Lembo, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., played college football at Georgetown, where he was a four-year starter on the offensive line for the Hoyas. His coaching career began in 1992, when he spent two season as a graduate assistant at Albany. From 1994 to 2000, he served as an assistant at Dartmouth, Hampden-Sydney and Lehigh before he got his shot to lead a program with the Mountain Hawks.

In his first season, Lembo was named Patriot League Coach of the Year and Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year after he led Lehigh to an 11-1 record and a No. 5 finish in the NCAA I-AA polls. Lembo was 44-14 in five years leading the Mountain Hawks and won another Patriot League title in 2004.

Lembo also had a five-year run of success at Elon, where he averaged seven wins per season. He was the 2007 Southern Conference Coach of the Year and went 24-14 in conference play. His Elon offenses averaged 400 yards per game in his final four seasons.

In 2012 and 2013, Lembo led Ball State to a combined record of 19-7 and back-to-back bowl appearances for the second time in 91 years. The Cardinals set more than 60 school records in Lembo's five years, including single-season marks for points, total offense, passing yards, touchdown passes and touchdowns in 2013 in the high-flying MAC.

Durkin has now filled five assistant positions on his staff. Shafer, London and defensive backs coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim joined the staff earlier this month. The hiring of offensive coordinator Walt Bell was announced Sunday. Durkin also hired Rick Court as strength coach earlier this month.