Ball State fourth-year head football coach Pete Lembo has received a contract extension through the 2018 football season, according to Cardinals’ director of intercollegiate athletics Bill Scholl.
“Since I arrived at Ball State, I have spoken of our coaches building programs the right way to achieve sustained success,” Scholl says. “This contract extension recognizes the exemplary work Pete has accomplished over the past three years and the direction our football program is heading. Our record has improved every year in his tenure and the culture Pete has created within his program is one of the best in the conference.”
In addition to the extension, Lembo’s title was changed from head football coach to head football coach and associate athletics director.
“This extension could not have occurred without the unwavering support of our administration at Ball State,” Scholl says. “From the video boards at Scheumann Stadium and Worthen Arena to the Cardinal Commitment campaign that will affect almost half the teams at Ball State and now this new contract for Coach Lembo, it is clear the university’s leadership is committed to developing champions and helping us to build a model athletics department for the Mid-American Conference.”
Lembo was in the fourth year of his original four-year contract, which also included a fifth-year option for the university. He led the Cardinals to a 6-6 record in his debut season and has gone 19-7 since, including a 9-4 record in 2012 and a 10-3 mark in 2013. Lembo also led Ball State to the highest APR in school history, and has guided the Cardinals to back-to-back bowl games for only the second time in program history. The 10 victories in 2013 marked only the third time in school history the football team has won 10 games in a single season.
Lembo has led the Cardinals to four wins over Football Bowl Subdivision schools from the automatic qualifying conferences, including a 48-27 win at Virginia last season. Ball State has also notched wins over Big Ten and Big East programs in Indiana (twice) and South Florida.
“We are pleased with what we have accomplished at Ball State the last three years and look forward to continuing to build a quality football program along with our student-athletes, coaching staff and the University administration,” Lembo says.
Ball State begins spring practice Tuesday and will hold its annual Spring Game April 19 at 2 p.m. The Cardinals will open the 2014 season Sat., Aug. 30, vs. Colgate at Ball State’s Scheumann Stadium.