While Pete Lembo's future with Ball State remains up in the air as jobs begin to fill their vacancies, the Cardinals will be without at least one key member of their coaching staff next season. Offensive coordinator Rich Skrosky has been named the next head football coach of the Elon Phoenix. The hire was formally announced on Thursday, Dec. 12 at a press conference.
Skrosky has served as the offensive coordinator at Ball State for the past three seasons as a member of Lembo's staff and has overseen the development of one of the MAC's most prolific offenses. Under his tutelage the Cardinals posted the ninth leading passing attack in the nation this season, and had two 1,000 yard receiver (a school first). In his balanced attack they also scored 40.1 points-per-game this season, 13th best average in the country.
An offensive mind, Skrosky is returning to his old stomping grounds. Before coming to Muncie with Lembo prior to the 2011 season, Skrosky coached with Lembo at Elon from 2006 to 2010, first as the team's offensive line and quarterback's coach until 2009 when he was promoted to offensive coordinator. From 2006-2010 under Lembo and Skrosky the Phoenix flourished offensively. In Skrosky's two seasons as the team's OC he engineered an attack that ranked in the top 20 FCS offenses in 2009, and was sixth in the FCS in total offense in 2010.
The job sort of fell into Skrosky's lap. Had Lembo been offered the Wake Forest job, or the UConn job, he likely would have taken his offensive coordinator with him. But with each passing day it's looking more and more like Lembo could be in Muncie, Ind., again next season, which meant this was the perfect time to offer Skrosky the opportunity to head up his own program.
He's taking over a program that has gone 10-24 since he left for Muncie, Ind., under former head coach Jason Swepson who was dismissed at the end of November. The Phoenix were dominated in the Southern Conference during that span, negating all the success built up from Lembo and Skrosky's reign.
But how does this effect the Cardinals right now? Well, obviously they'll need to find a new offensive coordinator, but until Lembo either leaves of announces he'll be returning to Ball state in 2014, it's impossible to know who the they'll be targeting. One thing is for sure, with Keith Wenning gone next season, expect to see some significant drop offs in the output of the Cardinal offense.