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BSU Football Has a Coaching Staff

Lembo now has a staff at BSU. Are wins next on the to-do list?

From the BSU release received this evening, it looks like the coaching staff for the 2011 Cardinals is just about complete. There’s still a full-time vacancy listed (for what I presume to be a strength and conditioning coach, though there isn’t a specific linebackers coach mentioned below either but Bateman does have LB position coach experience). We’ll have a breakdown of the assistants and what we like and don’t like tomorrow, but for now, read what BSU has to say about the hires.

Per the release…

MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State head football coach Pete Lembo has announced the hiring of eight assistant coaches for the 2011 season.

Daryl Dixon and Joey Lynch have been retained from the 2010 Ball State coaching staff, while four members of Lembo’s 2010 staff at Elon — Jay Bateman, Keith Gaither, Rich Skrosky and John Strollo — will join the Cardinals. In addition, Justin Lustig and Chad Wilt will serve as assistant coaches at Ball State. Lembo has one full-time coaching position yet to be filled.

Dixon, who will be in his third season at Ball State in 2011, will coach the defensive backs. A 2003 graduate of Florida where he captained the Gators as a senior, Dixon has tutored Sean Baker to the Ball State career interceptions record as a junior. Baker has 16 career picks, breaking the previous Ball State mark of 14. In addition, junior Jason Pinkston has seven career interceptions in his first two seasons under Dixon’s guidance.

Lynch, who lettered four seasons at quarterback for the Cardinals from 2003-06, will be in his third season as an assistant coach for Ball State in 2011. He will serve as the team’s recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach after spending 2009 as the wide receivers coach and 2010 as the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. Lynch, a native of Muncie, spent the 2008 season as the offensive coordinator at Ashland and the 2007 campaign as the offensive coordinator at St. Joseph’s (Ind.).

Bateman, who will serve as defensive coordinator at Ball State, spent the 2006-10 seasons as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Elon for Lembo and was promoted to assistant head coach for the 2010 campaign. He also served on Lembo’s staff at Lehigh as the run defense coordinator and defensive line coach during the 2005 campaign. At Elon, he tutored All-American linebacker Chad Nkang, who was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars, marking the first Elon football player drafted by the National Football League since 1992. Under Lembo’s guidance, he helped Elon to 35 victories in five years after arriving at a program that posted a 14-42 mark in the five years prior. Elon’s defense allowed just 248.33 yards per game to lead the Southern Conference and rank fourth nationally in 2009. At Lehigh, Bateman’s run defense ranked sixth in the country in 2005. Bateman spent four seasons as the head coach at Siena from 1999-2003. A 1995 graduate of Randolph-Macon College, Bateman was an all-conference linebacker and team captain. He and his wife, the former Heather Dawson, have one daughter, Bea.

Gaither, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Elon in 1999, was a four your starter and two-time NCAA Division II All-South Region defensive back for the Phoenix. Gaither will coach the wide receivers at Ball State in 2011. He spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the wide receivers coach under Lembo at his alma mater. In his first season at Elon, he tutored wide receiver Terrell Hudgins, who became the holder of 19 NCAA, Southern Conference or Elon records and finished second in the voting for the 2009 Walter Payton Award, which is awarded to the Football Championship Subdivision Player of the Year. Prior to Elon, Gaither spent four seasons at Winston-Salem State (2005-08), two years at Tusculum (1998-99) and one year at Greensboro (1997). Gaither spent five years as a teacher and assistant high school football coach after graduating from college. He is married to the former Mona Savonne Davis and the couple has two children.

Skrosky, who will serve as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ball State, was the offensive line coach at Elon from 2006-08 and promoted to offensive coordinator and QBs coach for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. In his first year as the offensive coordinator at Elon in 2009, the Phoenix led the Southern Conference and ranked sixth in the country with 291.50 passing yards per game and ranked among the top 20 nationally in pass efficiency and total offense. Skrosky came to Elon after serving as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for five seasons at Columbia (2001-05) and eight years at Monmouth (1993-2000). He was the head coach at Ramapo College in 1992 after serving as the school’s offensive coordinator in 1990-91. Skrosky also served stints as a graduate assistant at Rutgers (1988-89) and was a high school coach from 1984-87. A 1987 graduate of Ramapo, Skrosky was a safety for the school. He is married to Suzanne Quentz.

Strollo, who coached the offensive line at Elon the last two seasons and the tight ends in 2008, will coach the offensive line at Ball State. Prior to Elon, Strollo was an assistant coach at Duke (2005-07), Maine (2004), Cornell (2001-03), Lafayette (1996-2000), Massachusetts (1991-95), Northeastern (1984-90) and Washburn (1983). At Duke, he worked with the tight ends for one season before coaching the offensive line in his last two years. Strollo served as the offensive coordinator at Cornell and Northeastern and primarily worked with the offensive line at his other coaching stops. A 1976 graduate of Boston College, Strollo was a football letterman for the Eagles. He and his wife, the former Janet Kowalski, have two daughters — Katie and Emily.

Lustig, who coached the running backs and special teams at Louisiana Lafayette in 2009 and 2010, will serve as the special team’s coordinator and running backs coach for the Cardinals. He spent the 2006-08 seasons as an assistant at Eastern Illinois where he coached the running backs and special teams. The Panthers produced a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his three seasons at EIU. Prior to joining EIU, Lustig coached defensive backs and special teams at Christopher Newport (2004-05) and helped the Captains to a USA South Atlantic Conference Co-Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. He also spent the 2001 and 2002 seasons at Christopher Newport as the team’s recruiting coordinator and secondary coach. In 2003, Lustig coached cornerbacks at Villanova, which ranked as high as No. 4 in the Football Championship Subdivision Poll. A four-year starter at Bucknell, Lustig was a team captain and played cornerback and safety. A 2001 graduate of Bucknell, Lustig and his wife, the former Beth Ann Christopher, have two sons.

Wilt, a native of Upland, Ind., and a 2000 graduate of Taylor, comes to Ball State after coaching at Richmond (2010), Virginia (2009), Liberty (2006-08), Central Connecticut State (2001-03) and William & Mary (Spring 2001). Wilt, who will coach the defensive line for the Cardinals, served as the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator for former Ball State head coach Paul Schudel at CCSU. Wilt earned a master’s degree at Virginia in 2005 after serving as a graduate assistant for the Cavaliers. A three-time all-conference student-athlete at Taylor, Wilt captained the team as a senior. He was a two-time NAIA All-American defensive end and a two-time academic all-conference selection. Wilt graduated from Eastbrook High School in Marion, Ind., and played at Taylor for his father, Steve Wilt, who was head coach at TU from 1994-2005).

Lynch and Dixon remain from the previous staff, Lembo brings a quartet of Elon assistants with him, and two relative new folks to the chemistry from Louisiana-Lafayette and Richmond. Interesting to say the least. There’s some positives, some negatives, and some significant concerns and unknowns, but that’s for tomorrow. For now, BSU has a new staff and we welcome you all to the sidelines. Now let’s hope the fans and students do the same.

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