|Title||Assistant Head Coach / Special Teams Coordinator|
|Born||April 16, 1970|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||1–3 (NCAA D-I playoffs)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|2 Patriot (2001, 2004)|
|Eddie Robinson Award (2001)
Patriot League Coach of the Year (2001)
Southern Conference Coach of the Year (2007)
Peter Lembo (born April 16, 1970) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the Assistant Head Football Coach and Special Teams Coordinator at University of Maryland, a position he assumed in December 2015. Prior to coming to Maryland, he was the head football coach at Lehigh University from 2001 to 2005, at Elon University from 2006 to 2010, and at Ball State University from 2011 to 2015. Lembo has enjoyed success in each of his stops as a head coach and has accumulated a 112–65 career record. His 79–36 record in ten seasons at the FCS level makes him one of the winningest coaches in the history of that classification.
Education and playing career
Lembo attended Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island, where he was a starter on the varsity football squad. He graduated in 1988. He attended Georgetown University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 1992, and the University at Albany, SUNY, graduating with a Master of Arts in Public Administration in 1994. While at Georgetown, Lembo was a four-year starter at center and served as team captain of the Hoyas in 1991.
Lembo became one of the youngest head coaches in all of Division I when he was named head coach at Lehigh University in February 2001. The Mountain Hawks managed at least eight wins in each of his five seasons as head coach. Lembo is the winningest head coach in Lehigh school history with a .759 winning percentage. His conference record of 26–7 (.788) puts him third among all Patriot League coaches in terms of winning percentage. Lembo's teams won two Patriot League championships and made two appearances in the FCS playoffs.
In 2001, Lembo led Lehigh to an undefeated regular season and an upset win over Hofstra in the first round of the NCAA playoffs. That season, Lehigh also won the prestigious Lambert Cup and was named the ECAC team of the year. In 2002, the Mountain Hawks upset the University of Buffalo, an FBS level team from the Mid-American Conference.
Three of Lembo's student-athletes at Lehigh earned AP all-american recognition during his tenure as head coach. Defensive back Abdul Byron was selected in 2001, defensive end Tom Alfsen in 2004 and tight end Adam Bergen was a two-time selection in 2003 and 2004.
Lembo was the head football coach at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina for five seasons, from 2006 until 2010. His coaching record at Elon was 35–22. The Phoenix went 14–42 in the five seasons prior to Lembo's arrival. Lembo led the Phoenix to a 9–3 record (7–1 SoCon) and their only appearance in the FCS playoffs in 2009. His Elon teams set over 120 NCAA, Southern Conference and school records. He is the only football coach in the Division I era at Elon to secure a winning career record.
Under Lembo, Phoenix quarterback Scott Riddle (2007-2010) set NCAA records for the most passing yards by a freshman (3,738) and passing per game in a career (with 339.8). Riddle also tied the record for the most touchdown passes as a freshman (31). Riddle is fifth on the all-time list of FCS quarterbacks with 13,264 passing yards in his career.
Elon wide receiver Terrell Hudgins (2006-2009) holds NCAA records for the most passes caught in a career (395), career yards receiving (5,250), catches per game (8.78), the most games with 100 or more yards receiving (28) and the most games catching a touchdown pass (34). Some of these records were previously held by legendary receiver Jerry Rice. Hudgins is second all-time in catches in a single season (123 in 2009) and third in touchdown catches (with 52). Hudgins and teammate Michael Mayers hold the FCS record for most catches by a duo in a season (207 in 2007). Elon wide receiver Aaron Mellette ranked third in the FCS in catches per game in 2010 and was later drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
On December 19, 2010, Pete Lembo resigned as head football coach at Elon University to take the head coaching job at Ball State University. His contract at Ball State paid $450,000 per year, the 5th highest in Ball State's conference, and #119 among all college football coaches. He earned $514,250 in 2015. Lembo resigned December 22, 2015 to become the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator at Maryland. He compiled a 33-29 record in five seasons with the Cardinals.
Some highlights from Coach Lembo's career 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.
• 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 marks only the second time in 89 years of football the Cardinals have played in back-to-back bowl games and the third season of 10 or more wins.
• Led the Cardinals to a 7–1 MAC record in 2013 – only the fifth 7–1 or better MAC record since Ball State joined the league in 1975.
• The Cardinals' 19 wins in 2012 and 2013 tied for the most wins in back-to-back seasons in school history.
• Guided the Cardinals to four wins over teams from BCS conferences (Virginia, South Florida and Indiana twice). Ball State previously had one win in its entire history against teams from the BCS.
• First Ball State head coach in the school's history to win 30 games in first four seasons at the helm.
• Lembo's .600 winning percentage is the second best among Ball State head coaches through their first four seasons.
• Added the title of associate athletics director to his head football coaching position in March 2014.
• One of 20 coaches in country named to the 2013 Paul Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year Award Watch List.
• Earned his 100th career victory with a 27–24 win over Kent State in Ball State's 87th Homecoming Game in 2013.
• Lembo coached several future NFL players including wide receiver Willie Snead, quarterback Keith Wenning, defensive end Jonathan Newsome and running back Jahwan Edwards, Ball State's all-time leading rusher.
Head coaching record
|Lehigh Mountain Hawks (Patriot League) (2001–2005)|
|2001||Lehigh||11–1||7–0||1st||L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal||5|
|2004||Lehigh||9–3||5–1||T–1st||L NCAA Division I-AA First Round||15|
|Elon Phoenix (Southern Conference) (2006–2010)|
|2009||Elon||9–3||7–1||2nd||L NCAA Division I First Round||9|
|Ball State Cardinals (Mid-American Conference) (2011–2015)|
|2011||Ball State||6–6||4–4||T–4th (West)|
|2012||Ball State||9–4||6–2||T–2nd (West)||L Beef 'O' Brady's|
|2013||Ball State||10–3||7–1||2nd (West)||L GoDaddy Bowl|
|2014||Ball State||5–7||4–4||5th (West)|
|2015||Ball State||3–9||2–6||5th (West)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
Assistant coaches under Pete Lembo who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:
- Dave Cecchini: Valparaiso (2014–present)
- Isaac Collins: Seton Hill (2013–present)
- Mark Elder: Eastern Kentucky (2016–present)
- Tom Gilmore: Holy Cross (2004–present)
- Justin Lustig: Edinboro (2016–present)
- Rich Skrosky: Elon (2014–2016)