Maryland tight ends coach Pete Lembo is leaving to take over as Rice’s special teams coordinator and associate head coach, according to FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman.
It’s been a hectic offseason for Lembo, who was a “serious candidate” to leave for the head coaching job at Fordham in December. He stayed in College Park as the Terps’ special teams coordinator, associate head coach and tight ends coach, but the special teams duties were handed to Matt Barnes in January. Now he’s the fourth different offensive assistant coach to leave College Park this offseason, joining offensive coordinator Walt Bell, offensive line coach Tyler Bowen and running backs coach Anthony Tucker.
Before his two-year stint at Maryland, Lembo was a successful head coach at three different Division I spots. Most recently in five seasons at Ball State, he compiled a 33-29 record before leaving to join DJ Durkin’s staff in College Park. Lembo also manned the helm at Lehigh from 2001-05 and Elon from 2006-10.
With Lembo on board, Maryland took pride in its special-teams emphasis. While the Terps generally struggled in the kicking and punting departments under his tenure, they were much stronger in the return game and at blocking kicks and punts. Lembo was also the lead recruiter on Joseph Petrino, the ambidextrous kicker who signed with Maryland in December.
Lembo was one of three former head coaches on Durkin’s initial staff; all three are gone now. The Terps lost defensive coordinator Scott Shafer in spring 2016, while defensive line coach Mike London took the head job at Howard after last season. Lembo, 47, was the oldest member of the staff this season.