Pete Lembo will be named the special teams coordinator at Memphis, opening up a vacancy on the Rice football coaching staff.
The Roost can confirm reports that assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Pete Lembo is off to Memphis where he’ll join Mike Norvell’s staff.
After head coaching stints at Lehigh, Elon and Ball State, Lembo served as the special teams coordinator at Maryland for two years prior to his arrival at South Main. In one brief season with the Owls, Lembo produced a special teams unit that ranked as one of the best units in the nation across a variety of aspects.
The Rice offense and defense each had their ups and downs last season, but the special teams stayed consistently strong from start to finish. Rice was led by Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year, Jack Fox, who will pursue opportunities in the NFL this spring. Hayden Tobola finished third in the nation in field goal percentage (.909). Austin Walter finished eighth in kick off return average (27.3).
The special teams ranked 17th in the nation in overall efficiency, by far the best finish of the Owls’ three phases. Lembo’s handiwork made a positive impact on the totality of the special teams program, which ranked 114th in efficiency the year prior to Lembo’s arrival.
Expect head coach Mike Bloomgren and his staff to work quickly to fill the opening. National Signing Day is only a few weeks away, ideally, the Owls’ staff will be back at full strength before its time to finalize their 2019 class.
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