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Report: Ball State to make Lembo highest paid coach in MAC

Pete Lembo AP

Ball State will make head coach Pete Lembo the highest paid coach in the MAC as part of a five-year contract extension. According to Bruce Feldman of, who was first to report the contract extension, Ball State will also improve various aspects of the football program to provide for future growth.

The contract extension at Ball State comes after the third season under Lembo. In that time Ball State has improved on the season win total each year. In 2013 the Cardinals went 10-3 and finished second in the MAC West behind Northern Illinois. Ball State went to their second straight bowl game under Lembo, but so far they are 0-2 in the postseason. A lack of postseason victories aside, Lembo has shown signs of improvement in the program each season and has put some of his players in position to be some of the best in the conference.

Keith Wenning excelled at quarterback, leading the MAC in pass completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage last fall. Willie Snead led the conference in receptions and receiving yards as well as receiving touchdowns. The defense improved as well. Last fall Ball State had the third highest positive average point differential in the MAC, trailing only MAC champion Bowling Green and Northern Illinois.

This is a great move by Ball State. Lembo’s success with the program has made him an attractive coaching candidate that will be looked at by other programs from power conferences in the next round of the coaching carousel, especially if he can continue to find ways to improve on the field this upcoming season. While a contract extension will not necessarily keep Lembo from leaving one day for a higher paying opportunity at a power conference program, adding that security and comfort for Lembo is a no-brainer that will hopefully make him think hard before possibly leaving.

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2 Responses to “Report: Ball State to make Lembo highest paid coach in MAC”
  1. blueshoebrawlers1977 says: Mar 20, 2014 1:07 PM

    It is finally good to see Ball State retain a coach with proven success in recruiting as well as on the field. In order for Ball State to reach the heights and aspirations of sustained success as other top MAC schools, it was time for the University to anni up. There is plenty of local talent being overlooked although there has been some local signings the past few seasons. I would really enjoy seeing Ball State begin to really look for this local talent and develop better relationships with local high schools to show their commitment to strengthening the In State Football Program. We see states like Texas, Florida, California, and Ohio remaining at the too of the football chain because of their own commitment to in state relationships through recruitment in state with their focus on continually restocking the same talent level each year through their communication and support of in state athletics. Sure there are other states doing these same things but far too often we see a roster of an Indiana college or University with rosters containing more the 85% out of state recruits. SUSTAINED SUCCESS is possible and I believe Coach Lembo can continue to better address the lack of in state relationships and CONTINUE to better not only Ball State Football but all local and nearby in state programs as well. Congrats Coach & Go Cardinals

  2. robconstant says: Mar 20, 2014 9:12 PM

    Excited to see BSU finally making a commitment to win! Lembo could’ve bolted for UConn or Wake this year, and was even rumored for BC last year. We have a coach who can win and legitimately cares about the program, athletes and the university.

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