A veteran with over 30 years of coaching experience in both collegiate and professional ranks, Kevin Lempa joined the Columbia football coaching staff in 2011, and serves as the program's defensive coordinator.
Lempa, who has coached some of the best defenses in the nation in both the NCAA and the NFL, spent the 2011 season as the defensive coordinator for Central Connecticut State.
"Kevin has extensive experience at all levels of college and professional football. He brings a level of experience and knowledge of Ivy League football that I felt was unique," Coach Mangurian said. "He has had success at every level - both as an assistant and as a coordinator."
Prior to his time with the Blue Devils, Lempa spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland. In his first two seasons with the Terrapins, Lempa coached the entire defensive backfield, and continued on to coach the program's safeties. In his first season in College Park, Lempa helped direct an impressive pass defense as the Terps yielded just 210.7 yards per game. They ranked 33rd in the country in national pass defense.
Lempa has over two decades grooming defensive backs, and dozens of his former players went on to play in the National Football League. Overall, he has coached in 11 bowl games and coached players to All-ACC, All-WAC, All-Ivy League, All-ECAC and All-American honors.
Prior to his time at Maryland, Lempa spent four seasons (2003-06) as the secondary coach with Boston College, where he led one of the top units in both the Big East and ACC. The Eagles were among the nations best in picking off passes in 2006. Boston College's 21 interceptions were tied for third nationally, trailing only Western Michigan (24) and Wake Forest (22). They also had 17 interceptions in 2004, which led the Big East.
Lempa also spend two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Hawaii, from 2000-02. During Lempa's tenure, Hawai'i placed high nationally in several defensive categories. The 2001 team finished the year 9-3 and put four players on the All-Western Athletic Conference team. The 2002 team went 10-4 and played in the ConAgra Foods Hawai'i Bowl.
Lempa spent three seasons (1997-99) in the NFL as a defensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers. San Diego had one of the better defenses in the NFL during that period and led the league in yards allowed (263.0 pg) in 1998.
Lempa also spent time in the Ivy League early in his career, as he was Dartmouth's defensive coordinator/defensive back coach from 1991-96, when the Big Green won three Ivy League Championships and finished the 1996 season with a 10-0 record and a #16 national ranking in Division I-AA.
Lempa, a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, has a master's degree from the University of Maine. He and his wife Sara, have two grown children, Christopher and Tara.