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Lembo Announces Elon Football Staff Changes
ELON, N.C. – Elon Phoenix head football coach Pete Lembo has announced the restructuring of his staff which includes the addition of two new members and the promotion of two others. Lembo has promoted Jay Bateman to assistant head coach while Charles Porterfield will take over the role of tight ends coach. Kevin Downing has joined the staff as a defensive assistant and Corey Bass will assume the role of director of football operations.
Bateman, who is entering his fifth season as member of Lembo’s staff, will continue in his roles as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. In 2010, Bateman’s defense rated as one of the top units in the country. Elon’s defense ranked fourth in the nation in total defense, allowing just 248.33 yards per game. The group also rated third in scoring defense (13.17 ppg), 15th against the rush (104.42 ypg) and fifth against the pass (143.92 ypg).
“Jay and I have worked together for several years at three different institutions,” stated Lembo. “He is an accomplished recruiter and has done an excellent job managing our defensive personnel. I value Jay’s input and trust him to make important program-related decisions in my absence.”
Porterfield served as Elon’s director of football operations for the 2009 campaign and will now move into a coaching role as he guides the Phoenix’s tight ends. Porterfield is a former Elon offensive lineman who graduated in 2008 with a degree in physical and health education. In 2009, Elon’s tight ends caught 17 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown.
“When we brought Charlie back as director of football operations last year, the goal was to eventually get him back on the field as a position coach,” said Lembo. “He is excited about the opportunity to work with our offensive staff and I am pleased to have another Elon graduate on the road recruiting for us. Charlie is well respected by our players.”
Downing comes to Elon after spending the last five seasons as a member of the staff at Winston-Salem State University. An Edenton, N.C. native, Downing worked with the Rams’ defensive backs and safeties before switching sides of the ball to become the wide receivers coach for the last three years.
In 2009, Winston-Salem State’s receiving corps was led by Omar Kizzie who caught 28 balls for 298 yards and three scores.
Downing is a 2004 graduate of North Carolina Central University where he played two seasons before his career was cut short due to multiple knee surgeries. During the 2001 season, Downing played a key role for the Eagles’ defense which finished the season as the top-rated unit in the country at the NCAA Division II level.
Downing earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 2004.
Lembo added, “Kevin has developed a relationship with several members of our staff through interaction on the road recruiting and working at various summer camps. His previous experience recruiting in North Carolina will be a great asset to the program. Kevin is very articulate, passionate and organized. He will be a strong addition to our defensive staff.”
Bass is familiar with the Phoenix as he spent the past year as a marketing assistant for ISP Sports on the Elon campus. In that role he was responsible for selling and servicing advertising and sponsorships for the athletic department’s venues and game programs.
Bass concluded his collegiate career as a member of the football team at East Carolina where he earned Dean’s List, Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll accolades.
Bass also has experience in sports marketing during stints with East Carolina University and the Carolina Mudcats of minor league baseball.
A 2007 graduate of East Carolina, Bass holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in exercise and sports sciences.
“Corey has been like an extended member of the staff since he arrived here last year working for ISP. He has been exposed to Division I athletics his entire life and has the organizational and communication skills to be an outstanding administrator. I have no doubt he will find creative ways to make us better as a program.”
One final change to staff assignments will see Lembo head up Elon’s special teams units. That group was led by Dave Ungerer in 2009. Ungerer has since joined the staff at Washington State University.
“My intimate work with the special teams throughout my years as a head coach has been extremely rewarding,” added Lembo. “It gives me an opportunity to interact closely with almost every player in the program. This slight restructuring of the coaching staff will give us more help on both sides of the ball and free me up to dedicate additional time to the kicking game. Morale on the staff is very high as we move forward with this plan.”
The Phoenix finished the 2009 campaign with a 9-3 record and advanced to the FCS Playoffs for the first time. Elon ended the year ranked in the top-10 in both major FCS polls. The program’s seven Southern Conference victories were the most during Elon’s seven-year tenure in the league.