Lembo Named Phil Steele Special Teams Coach of the Year
“The stats are final for the 2022 football season and after checking all the numbers and formula’s the results are final. The #1 Special Teams unit in the country for 2022 was South Carolina and that means that Pete Lembo wins my Special Teams coach of the year for the second time in the last four years!”
So said Phil Steele as he announced today that South Carolina special teams coordinator Pete Lembo was indeed the top special teams coach for 2022.
Here are some of Carolina’s 2022 special teams successes:
• The Gamecocks boasted the nation’s top-ranked special teams unit, earning the No. 1 spot in ESPN’s special teams efficiency ranking.
• South Carolina ranked fourth in the country in punt returns (16.6), fifth in kickoff returns (25.1), seventh in net punting (42.8), 23rd in opponent kickoff returns (17.3) and 27th in opponent punt returns (4.6).
• The Gamecocks tied for third in the country with six blocked kicks and tied for second with five blocked punts.
• The Gamecocks scored five special teams touchdowns – two blocked punt returns, one kick return, one fake punt and one fake field goal.
• Junior punter Kai Kroeger was an All-American and first-team All-SEC selection. Long snapper Hunter Rogers earned second-team All-SEC honors.
• Placekicker Mitch Jeter was a perfect 11-for-11 in field goal attempts in 2022, including a pair of 50-plus yarders. Jeter and Eddie Leopard (12-for-12 in 1980) are the only kickers in school history to make all of their field goal attempts in a season with a minimum of 10 attempts.