Pete Lembo leaves Ball State for assistant job at Maryland

Dr. Saturday
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

D.J. Durkin is assembling quite a staff at Maryland.

As first reported by Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, Pete Lembo has resigned from his position as head coach at Ball State to take a position as assistant head coach and special teams coordinator under Durkin with the Terps. 

Maryland made the hire of Lembo official on Tuesday afternoon.

“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.”

The 45-year-old Lembo has been at Ball State for the past five seasons where he compiled a 33-29 (23-17 MAC) record. Before his time at Ball State, Lembo spent five seasons as the head coach at Elon and five seasons as the head coach at Lehigh. His overall record as a head coach during those three stops is 112-65.

“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."

The Cardinals were 25-13 in Lembo’s first three seasons, but were 8-16 over the past two years, including a 3-9 mark this season. According to Feldman, Lembo “decided to make the move after dealing with frustration after years of leading one of the most under-resourced programs in the MAC.”

“It is incredibly difficult to say goodbye after five very meaningful years and building so many wonderful relationships with student-athletes, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community,” Lembo said in a Ball State release. “I tried to make a difference every day and I am proud of our many accomplishments on and off the field.

“The opportunity to join Coach D.J. Durkin at Maryland and build a program in the Big Ten with him is one which I simply can’t pass up. Returning to the Washington, DC area will also allow us to live near our immediate family. My family and I wish nothing but the best for the Ball State football program and University moving forward.”

At Maryland Lembo joins a staff that already includes former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer (defensive coordinator) and former Virginia head coach Mike London (defensive line coach), giving Durkin a wealth of knowledge on staff in his first ever head coaching job.

Lembo’s departure means a MAC head coach has left for an assistant position with a Power Five program in back-to-back years. Dan Enos left Central Michigan last year to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. 

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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