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Meet the Coach: Pete Lembo

by Sam Calvert,
  • Photo courtesy of Elon University Media Relations.

Spectators see him walking up and down the sidelines, looking on as the Elon University football team takes on its opponent. He's the man  beneath the headset, talking to coaches and players alike.

He's Pete Lembo, and he's the head coach of the Elon football team. And while those in the stands may see his coaching style from afar, only his players hear the words coming from his mouth.

"Water up and get up," senior quarterback Scott Riddle said. "That's a new one this year."

Lembo repeated the saying quite often throughout the preseason whenever players would take a water break, Riddle said. Players would kneel down at the water coolers and hear that phrase spurt from Lembo's lips — a reminder that practice was yet to be through.

But every coach has a catchphrase. What makes Lembo unique is his approach to the art of coaching, senior running back Brandon Newsome said.

"He's a business man connoisseur," Newsome said. "He's organized down to a tee. He's like a CEO."

Newsome said Lembo has everything scheduled and planned, with times set for everything.

"He's a nerd when it comes to football," Riddle said.

During the preseason, different players would dress up or do impersonations of Lembo, emphasizing his passion for the game, Riddle said. But the coach demonstrates his sense of humor, too, always able to laugh at himself.

Part of that passion comes in his knowledge of the game, Riddle said.

"He's a really smart guy," Riddle said. "He can teach any position on the field."

Because of that, he is able to work with every player, Riddle said, and his coaching style can be as intense as his love and knowledge of football. Through it, he shows how much he's devoted not only to the game, but also to the players themselves.

"He can get in your face when you're slacking off, but he understands the time and places to do so," Riddle said. "He takes care of his players."