by Chuck Pool (email@example.com) -
"I am ecstatic that Pete Lembo has accepted the offer to join our staff at Rice," Bloomgren said. "He is one of the top special teams coaches in the country and his level of experience in all facets of college coaching will be invaluable to me, our staff and our players. I am thrilled to have Pete and his wife Jen join our football family," Bloomgren added.
"I am ecstatic that Pete Lembo has accepted the offer to join our staff at Rice. He is one of the top special teams coaches in the country and his level of experience in all facets of college coaching will be invaluable to me, our staff and our players. I am thrilled to have Pete and his wife Jen join our football family."
A 25-year coaching veteran, including 15 as a head coach at Lehigh, Elon and Ball State, Lembo most recently served in the same capacity at the University of Maryland for the past two seasons.
During his tenure with the Terps, Lembo's special teams were one of the top kick blocking units in the country, tying for fifth nationally with nine over the last two seasons. The Terps were stellar in kickoff return defense, ranking as the second and third in the Big Ten (25th and 21st nationally) over the past two years.
Maryland ranked 11th out of 130 FBS programs in ESPN's Special Teams Efficiency rankings last season after ranking 17th in his first year in College Park. The Terps ranked third in the Big Ten in punt returns and fourth in kickoff returns.
Prior to joining DJ Durkin's staff at Maryland, Lembo had spent five seasons leading the program at Ball State. The Cardinals set more than 60 school records during Lembo's 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.
Throughout his career, Lembo has excelled coaching special teams. Ball State 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 the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2014.
Lembo was 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 seasons at Ball State, posting a 23-17 record in the MAC.
Several players from Lembo's Ball State teams have gone on to successful NFL careers, including wide receiver Willie Snead who just completed his third season with the New Orleans Saints as well as defensive end Jon Newsome (Indianapolis Colts) and quarterback Keith Wenning (Cincinnati Bengals), among others. Lembo also coached two-time first team All-MAC tight end Zane Fakes who was also a two-time Academic All-MAC selection and a 2013 Campbell trophy semi-finalist.
He 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.
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.
After joining the Lehigh staff as an assistant in 1998, Lembo was promoted to head coach in 2001 and became one of the most successful coaches in Lehigh history, posting a 44-14 mark in five seasons. 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 took over Elon's program in 2006 and led the Phoenix to 35 victories in five years, more than doubling their win total over the previous five years (14). 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.
Lembo began his coaching career at Albany (1992-93) and made stops at Dartmouth (1994-96) and Hampden-Sydney (1997) before joining the staff at Lehigh.
A native of Staten Island, New York, Lembo is married with three children. He starred 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.