'Taking a new job doesn't mean abandoning recruiting relationships'
- by Doug Samuels 11 months ago
As we all know, in the coaching profession, it's very possible that you can move jobs and uproot your family every three years. So conservatively speaking, in ten years in the coaching world, it's not crazy to consider changing jobs three times.
Because of that, relationships play a huge role in the profession, and Pete Lembo and his staff at Ball State are illustrating that with their recruiting ties to North Carolina, where Lembo and a few members of his current staff served together on staff at Elon just a few years ago.
If you take a look at Ball State's roster you'll get a pretty good picture of the relationships that Lembo, who coached at Elon in North Carolina for five seasons prior to taking the Cardinals job, and his staff have cultivated in their former home as the Times News points out.
Of the 101 players on the roster, most of them hail from Indiana and the surrounding pipeline states (Ohio, Illinois and Michigan), however 11 of them are from North Carolina. On national signing day, one third of their 21 commits were from the Tar Heel state. What makes that haul even more impressive is that the state of North Carolina alone contains 11 programs that play either FCS or FBS level football.
When Lembo and his staff left the state of North Carolina for Muncie, Indiana (Elon and Ball State's campus' are over 542 miles away from one another), they had formed relationship with the state's high school coaches that they weren't willing to leave behind.
“Just because we’ve left Elon and we’re in Indiana, that doesn’t mean that we can’t keep recruiting North Carolina kids. We think very highly of the level of football and the coaching. Those kids have been a good fit for us.”
“For five years we went in and out of every high school in the state. Now we’re eight hours away, but that doesn’t mean those relationships disappear.”
Lembo and his staff also found that the similarities in culture from the two areas has worked to their advantage.
"The culture in Indiana is very similar to North Carolina. Obviously, it’s further north, it’s colder, but the people are very similar, down to earth and friendly. So the kids that we’ve brought to Ball State from North Carolina have adjusted very well.” Lembo added.
In a profession with so much turnover, holding onto relationships (regardless of the geographical distance) is just as important to building a program as forming new relationships is.
Ball State will open the year at home against Illinois State, where their new video boards will be on display .