COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland head football coach DJ Durkin has added another former Division I head coach to his staff, naming Pete Lembo as Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator on Tuesday. Lembo has spent the last five seasons as Ball State’s Head Coach.
Lembo joins Associate Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach Mike London and Defensive Coordinator Scott Shafer as former Division I head coaches on Durkin’s staff.
“I’m really excited to be adding someone the caliber of Pete Lembo to my staff,” said Durkin. “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.”
Ball State set more than 60 school records during Lembo’s tenure as head coach, including single-season records for points (501), total offense (6,199 yards), passing yards (4,214), touchdown passes (35) and total touchdowns (64) in 2013.
Lembo has excelled coaching special teams, especially during his tenure at Ball State. The Cardinals ranked among the top three schools in the Mid-American Conference in a compilation of league special teams statistics in each of his five years, leading the league in 2012. Lembo coached five different players to all-conference honors on the special teams side of the ball. Placekicker Steve Schott was a Lou Groza semifinalist and punter Scott Kovanda was a Ray Guy finalist in 2012. Placekicker Scott Secor was named the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2014.
“I have really enjoyed getting to know Coach Durkin recently and couldn’t pass on this great opportunity to be on his staff,” said Lembo. “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 is 112-65 during his 15 years serving as head coach at Ball State (2011-15), Lehigh (2001-05) and Elon (2006-10). He was 33-29 during his five year tenure at Ball State, posting a 23-17 record in the MAC.
Lembo was the first head coach in Ball State history to win at least 30 games in his first four seasons at the helm. He guided the Cardinals to a 10-3 overall record in 2013, including a second straight bowl appearance when Ball State played in the GoDaddy Bowl. It marked just the second time in 91 years of football at Ball State that the Cardinals played in back-to-back bowl games.
A 23-year coaching veteran, Lembo was one of 20 coaches in country named to the 2013 Paul Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year Award Watch List.
In 2012, Lembo led the Cardinals to a 9-4 overall record and a 6-2 MAC mark in his second season. He guided Ball State to the 2012 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg in only his second season at the helm.
Prior to Ball State, Lembo was one of the most successful coaches in Lehigh history, posting a 44-14 mark as head coach. He led Lehigh to the 2001 and 2004 Patriot League Championship and berths in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs. His .759 overall winning percentage and .778 league winning percentage at Lehigh are both the second highest in Patriot League history. He was named the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year and the Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2001 when his squad finished 11-1 and ranked fifth in both NCAA I-AA polls.
Lembo also found success as Elon’s Head Coach from 2006-10. He led the Phoenix to 35 victories in five years after taking over a program that tallied a 14-42 record in the five years prior to his arrival. Lembo’s Elon teams broke 124 NCAA, Southern Conference and school records during his tenure and posted a 24-14 record in the Southern Conference. He was named the 2007 SoCon Coach of the Year and the Phoenix averaged more than 400 yards of offense per game during each of his final four seasons at the school.
Before taking over at Elon, Lembo served as an assistant coach at Lehigh from 1998-2000. He was also an assistant coach at Hampden-Sydney (1997), Dartmouth (1994-96) and Albany (1992-93).
A native of Staten Island, New York, Lembo is married with three children. He stared at Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island before becoming a four-year starter on the offensive line at Georgetown. He was named a team captain during the 1991 season and graduated from Georgetown in 1992. Lembo earned his Master’s degree from Albany in 1994.