An integral part of Wake Forest's much-improved defense in the late 1990s, Theo Lemon enters 2000 with a pair of new titles - assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator.
Lemon, who enters his fifth season with the Demon Deacons, was promoted following a 1999 season in which the defensive unit was ranked nationally in the top 35 in every statistical category. Defense was the cornerstone of the 1999 team, which posted a 7-5 record and advanced to a postseason bowl game for the first time since 1992.
He will share the defensive coordinator duties with Tony Pierce in 2000.
Last year the Deacs yielded just 121.4 yards rushing and 18.7 points per game - numbers remarkably improved from Lemon's first year on staff in 1996. Two of Lemon's defensive linemen - senior Fred Robbins and junior Bryan Ray - earned second team All-ACC honors in 1999.
The 1997 Deacons surrendered only 96 yards per game rushing - the lowest figure by a WFU defense in 35 years. In 1998, despite losing two of the program's top three tacklers to injury and working with a pair of young former linebackers at end, Lemon again molded his players into a solid, consistent unit.
Lemon embarks on his co-defensive coordinator with a youth-laden unit. Nine senior starters are gone from last year's squad, but Lemon inherits a unit with great overall speed.
Overall, Lemon is entering his 20th season as a coach on the collegiate level.
Before coming to Wake Forest, Lemon was linebacker coach at Rutgers for two years and defensive line coach at East Carolina for one season (1993). In 1991 and 1992, he was defensive coordinator at Northeastern University.
Lemon also enjoyed an outstanding six-year tenure at Central State of Ohio, where he helped that school to six consecutive postseason bids and the 1990 NAIA national championship. He was defensive coordinator and special teams coach on the squad which won a national title.
At Central State, Lemon coached Erik Williams, who went on to be an All-Pro with the Dallas Cowboys.
Prior to entering the college coaching ranks, Lemon was an assistant coach on the high school level in Ohio in 1979 and 1980.
In 1992 and 1995, Lemon worked as a summer intern coach for the Los Angeles Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.
Lemon was a four-year starter at defensive back for Ohio University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1980 and his master's degree in physical education in 1990. At Ohio, he was an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Lemon is a product of Massillon, Ohio, a city rich in football tradition. He and his wife Channon are the parents of two sons - six-year-old Willis, and three-year-old Dean.