Photo Courtesy of Cliff Welch
(ELON, N.C.) â€“ Elon University Athletics today announced that Phoenix head football coach Pete Lembo has signed a contract extension which will keep him with the Southern Conference school through the 2012 season.
Lembo has compiled a 12-10 record in his first two seasons at the helm of the Elon program, including a 7-4 mark and a final national ranking of 23rd in both the FCS Coaches Poll and the Sports Network poll during the 2007 campaign. He now boasts a 56-24 (.700) overall record in seven career seasons.
Lembo was named the Southern Conference Football Coach of the Year in 2007, and finished sixth in the 2007 voting for the Eddie Robinson Award as the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national coach of the year, collecting seven first-place votes.
â€œWe are very appreciative of what Coach Lembo has done in his short time at Elon,â€ said Dave Blank, director of athletics. â€œWeâ€™re all looking forward to assisting him as he and his staff continue to build this program into a consistent contender both at the Southern Conference and national levels. President Lambert and I felt it was very important to demonstrate the universityâ€™s commitment to Pete through the extension of his contract with Elon University.â€
Prior to 2007, Elon had not posted a winning record since a 7-4 season in 2000. In just two short years, Lembo has had the Phoenix battling for a SoCon title and into the national polls. Under his guidance, Elon has knocked off three top-25 programs, including two this past season. This year, Elon concluded the season with a 4-3 league mark, its best since joining the SoCon for the 2003 season and just one game out of claiming the SoConâ€™s automatic bid to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs.
â€œI appreciate the support of the administration as well as its recognition of the progress that has been made by our football program in just two years,â€ stated Lembo. â€œWhen I arrived at Elon, people were constantly asking me why I took this job. Now we are talking about competing for SoCon championships and trips to the post-season in the near future. This is an exciting time for Elon football and I am proud to be a part of it. My family and I truly enjoy living in this community. We have developed some special friendships here in a short period of time.â€
Under Lembo, 13 Elon players have earned All-Southern Conference recognition by the media while nine Phoenix players have been selected All-SoCon by the leagueâ€™s coaches. A total of 12 players, including seven following the 2007 campaign, were named All-Americans. Quarterback Scott Riddle was honored as the 2007 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and was named the National Freshman of the Year by two different organizations.