It has been only 12 days since former Ball State Head Football Coach Pete Lembo jettisoned for Maryland and a luxurious Special Teams Coaching gig, but it has been an extremely long 12 days for fans, players and current assistants of the Ball State football program.
In those 12 days there has been no news, none. No scuttlebutt, no rumors, no nothing about the opening in Muncie. According to some quick research, we found that this offseason, coaching vacancies at FBS level programs were averaging 11 days to fill. These are jobs where the coach was let go or left, after the season ended. The quickest was Bowling Green and Toledo’s lightning fast decisions. The longest? That distinction belongs to Louisiana Monroe who took a whole month to find a coach. But that month took place in November/December and butted up directly into the dead period for recruiting. Let’s hope that this search here in Muncie doesn’t take anywhere near that long.
So, let’s say AD Mark Sandy names a coach on Monday, what will that coach face stepping into the job and the 3 key factors must be looked at quickly.
1. Recruiting Visits – yes, we are coming out of the dead period and schools are scheduling up recruiting visits quickly. This means there will be less time for potential Cardinal recruits to visit Muncie and less chances if these potential recruits have already scheduled visits earlier.
2. Maintaining the commits – there are currently 16 verbal commitments of the prior staff that are floating in the breeze. Most of these players had offers from other schools, multiple offers. This means there are undoubtedly other coaching staffs buzzing to get these currently committed players on their campuses.
3. Finding a staff – This can go one of two ways. If it is a current head coach that comes to Ball State, he will likely mix his current staff with leftovers from Lembo’s staff to build a staff quickly and maintain some continuity. This would be the best case scenario for all involved. If the new coach comes from a job as an assistant or off of a golf course somewhere (former coach who sat out a year or two), then he will have to build a staff completely from the ground up, which will be a tall task this late in the game.