Could a South Carolina football assistant be leaving the program?

South Carolina football assistant coach Pete Lembo has interviewed for a head coaching position.

South Carolina football coaches Shane Beamer and Pete Lembo
South Carolina football coaches Shane Beamer and Pete Lembo / Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer finalized his coaching staff this week with the official addition of Marquel Blackwell as the team's running backs coach. Finalized, though, might not be 100% correct.

While there are no changes set to be made on the Gamecock end of things, a couple of USC assistants have been highly sought after this offseason.

Defensive ends/outside linebackers coach Sterling Lucas got a new contract extension to keep him in place in Columbia for at least another year after the Baltimore Ravens (a team he once worked for when he was an NFL assistant) tried to hire him away from the Gamecocks.

On Saturday, it was reported by 247Sports' Brad Crawford that South Carolina football associate head coach/special teams coordinator Pete Lembo interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Buffalo. Previous Buffalo headman Maurice Linguist resigned this week to join the staff at Alabama under Kalen DeBoer, the successor to the legendary Nick Saban.

According to the report, Lembo was impressive in his interview and should be considered a real candidate for the position.

The Buffalo job is not the first head coaching gig that Lembo has entertained during his time in garnet and black. He clearly has a desire to be a head coach again (he previously served as the man in charge at Ball State, Elon, and Lehigh.

In 2022 with the South Carolina football program, Lembo was voted as a semi-finalist for the Broyles Award (the nation's top assistant coach), his special teams units were rated as the best in the country, and Phil Steele named him college football's top assistant. The Gamecocks took a step back on special teams in 2023, but injuries forced Lembo to utilize more walk-ons and depth backups than ever before, moving his unit to average production instead of elite.

If Lembo does take the Buffalo job, it will be a hit to Shane Beamer's program. Gamecock fans should monitor this one moving forward.

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