The Vanderbilt Commodores have officially named former Stanford defensive coordinator and associate head coach Derek Mason as their head coach, succeeding James Franklin who left for the same job with the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Here are quotes from the school’s official release announcing the hire of Mason:
“Derek Mason is the leader we trust to continue the challenging but exciting work that has elevated the Vanderbilt football program to unprecedented heights,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said. “He embodies integrity, strategic thinking and a demonstrated commitment to success. He understands the important role that athletics plays in the life of a vibrant university, and that outstanding scholarly pursuits and top-notch sports are integral parts of the Vanderbilt experience. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Vanderbilt community.”
“We are very pleased with our search. It was evident that the football world is aware of the tremendous progress our program has made and that was reflected by the deep pool of talent that showed an interest in our position,” athletic director David Williams said. “We talked to outside experts and did our own evaluations and the person that always seemed to be in the spotlight was the same person that was at the top of our list and that was Derek Mason.
“We are so excited to be introducing him as our head football coach because we are confident he can build upon our successes on and off the field and that he will take us to the next level. Derek will be an asset to our university,” Williams added.
Mason had been at Stanford since 2010 when he came to Palo Alto after coaching defensive backs with the Minnesota Vikings and after one year as a position coach was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2011.
“I am so excited to be at Vanderbilt,” Mason said. “This university combines the best of what’s good about college athletics and academics. We expect to be competitive and look forward to competing for an SEC East crown.”
Mason will have large shoes to fill after Franklin 24 games in his three years including taking the ‘Dores to three straight bowl games, but he is already being looked at as a brilliant hire.