Maryland Football: Pete Lembo a strong hire


With the latest hiring of former Ball State coach Pete Lembo, Maryland coach D.J. Durkin continues to build a strong staff at Maryland.

Durkin arrived in College Park as a defensive guru that had never had a chance to lead a program as a head football coach. Athletic director Kevin Anderson gave Durkin that chance as he tabbed the former Michigan defensive coordinator as the successor to Randy Edsall.

The Terrapins have already added multiple coaches with head coaching experience to their staff.

Former Virginia head coach Mike London will serve as the defensive line coach while former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer will be the Terps’ new defensive coordinator. Adding two former ACC coaches certainly isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and it also could open up more opportunities on the recruiting trail.

Durkin is quietly building a very strong staff that includes three former head coaches with a variety of different skill sets. Lembo became the latest on Monday.

Lembo, who was hired on Tuesday as an assistant head coach/special teams coordinator, comes to Maryland after a five-year stint as the head coach at Ball State. Before that, Lembo spent time as the head coach at Lehigh from 2001 to 2005 and Elon from 2006 to 2010.

As a head coach, Lembo has accumulated a 112-65 record and has been successful at all three stops.

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  • Lembo’s Cardinals set more 60 school records during his five-year tenure, 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. He also produced New Orleans Saints rookie wideout Willie Snead, who tallied 223 receptions for 2,991 yards and 26 touchdowns during his three-year career at Ball State.

    In terms of special teams, Lembo has also seen a tremendous amount of success. In 2012, he possessed Lou Groza Award semifinalist Steve Schott and Ray Guy Award finalist Scott Kovanda on his roster. He also led Ball State to being in the top three in overall special teams during his five years with the program.

    With the Terps already possessing a strong return game, the addition of Lembo is another huge get for Durkin’s staff. Maryland also has been one of the better field goal kicking teams around since the arrival of Australian Brad Craddock.

    During the 2015 season, Maryland led the Big Ten in punt returns with an average of 17.7 yards-per-return. The Terps totaled 460 yards on punt returns, including a pair of touchdowns from cornerback William Likely.

    Maryland came in sixth in the conference in kickoff returns with an average of 21.6 yards-per-return. The Terps ended up with the second-most kickoff return yards with 1,039 on 48 returns (also second-most in the Big Ten).

    The Terps already had significant success with their special teams units. The addition of Lembo certainly should improve matters, regardless of personnel.

    Lembo has the credentials to be a success coach at the Big Ten level, and Durkin made another strong hire with his latest addition.

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