"I'm really excited to be adding someone the caliber of Pete Lembo to my staff," Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin said in a statement. "Pete brings a great deal of experience as a head coach and a proven track record of success. He's been especially successful coaching special teams units and we'll immediately improve with him on board."
Among the reasons for Lembo's departure from Ball State are Durkin's reputation, Ball State's status as one of the least-funded programs in the MAC and Lembo's family ties to the East Coast, sources told ESPN's Joe Schad.
"I have really enjoyed getting to know Coach Durkin recently and couldn't pass on this great opportunity to be on his staff," Lembo said in a statement. "I'm excited to work with the terrific coaching staff that's already in place at the University of Maryland and am looking forward to building this into a highly competitive team in the Big Ten and beyond."
A Georgetown alumnus, Lembo coached at Lehigh and Elon before he was hired by the Cardinals ahead of the 2011 season. At Ball State, he compiled a 33-29 record and went 23-17 in the MAC. He led the Cardinals to consecutive winning seasons in 2012 and 2013, with Ball State going to bowl games in each. Lembo then signed a five-year contract extension following the 2013 season, but he has since experienced his two worst seasons, going 5-7 in 2014 and 3-9 this season.
Lembo is the third former FBS head coach to join Durkin's staff at Maryland. Durkin has hired former Virginia coach Mike London as associate head coach and defensive line coach, and ex-Syracuse coach Scott Shafer to be the Terps' defensive coordinator.
Durkin has also added Aazaar Abdul-Rahim from Alabama as Maryland's defensive backs coach and Rick Court from Mississippi State as the Terps' strength and conditioning coach.
Maryland went 3-9 this year and 1-7 in the Big Ten, the program's second year in the league after spending 61 years in the ACC.
Information from ESPN.com's Matt Fortuna contributed to this report.