Earlier today, news spread surrounding Boston College’s coaching search. Boston College has trimmed its list of candidates down to three with hopes of announcing the heir to Frank Spaziani, who was canned after one of the worst seasons in program history.
According to ESPN.com, the final three candidates are Ball State’s Pete Lembo, Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.
Diaco, who in my opinion, has to be the frontrunner for the job, is coming off a steller season with the top-ranked Irish, who will square off with No. 2 Alabama in the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 7 in Miami. Diaco’s defense is the No. 1 in the country in points allowed, averaging 10.3 per game. Notre Dame’s rushing defense is fourth-best in the nation, allowing just over 92 yards per game, while its passing defense is 21st in the country, yielding just over 192 yards per contest. Diaco is surrounded by extraordinary talent headlined by senior linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o, who amassed 103 tackles this season and seven interceptions, second-most in the country and tops for a linebacker.
In just two seasons, Lembo has brought Ball State back from the college football abyss, and turned it into a winner. After narrowly missing out on a bowl game with a 6-6 mark in 2011, Lembo headed Ball State to an unpredictable 9-3 record this season and a date with Central Florida of Conference USA in the Beef ‘O Brady bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Dec. 21. Lembo is 14-9 overall and 10-6 in Mid-American Conference contests as coach at Ball State and boasts the No. 1 recruiting class in the conference for next season.
Kromer is in the midst of his fifth season with Saints. He’s spent the last three seasons as the offensive line coach, while having served as an assistant coach in the NFL since 2000. Throughout his NFL tenure, Kromer has developed seven Pro Bowl offensive linemen, including three in 2011. The Saints have allowed just 70 sacks over the last three seasons, the third-fewest total in the NFL.
What this means for Ball State …
Right now, it means very little. Obviously, I’m not going to make any rash judgments or predictions. The reality is Lembo is a candidate for the Boston College job, and he has a right to explore his options. Lembo is an East Coast guy, who graduated from Georgetown in 1992 before earning his M.A. at Albany in ’94. He coached at Elon and Lehigh. So, he’s got connections and is very familiar with that region of the country. I’m not saying Lembo will abandon what he’s already built at Ball State. But it’s certainly a possibility if not this year, then next year. Honestly, I don’t believe Lembo will take the BC job because there’s too many pieces already in place for Ball State next season. Running backs Jahwan Edwards and Horactio Banks, along with quarterback Keith Wenning, tight end Zane Fakes and receivers Willie Snead and KeVonn Mabon will be returning in 2013. Win the Beef O’Brady’s bowl, mix in a possible MAC Championship and another bowl win, and Lembo could have himself quite the resumé this time next year.
As we wait for BC to announce its new coach, I’m sure most of us will be eying the newspaper headlines, Internet pages and Twitter vigorously in the coming few days.