Ball State head coach Pete Lembo is trying to build a stronger sense of “team” while rallying a disengaged fan base.
In 2008, Brady Hoke led the Cardinals to a 12-0 regular season. The average home attendance was 19,201. A year ago however, the attendance fell to an average of just 8,947 fans during six home games. Following the season, head coach Stan Parrish was dismissed.
Lembo told the Star Press, "I want our team to be the tightest knit team on this campus and in the conference. We will work very hard to build relationships, establish trust, and develop intangibles."
Lembo knows the importance of having the community’s support.
This year, instead of traveling out of town for the Friday night pre-game destination, Lembo says the team will stay at a local hotel in Muncie. Not only will the move save the program about $25,000, but the local community will appreciate the move.
Ball State opens against Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. After a trip to Tampa to play South Florida, Lembo will coach his first home game in Muncie against the University of Buffalo.