Vanderbilt hires new football coach

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Nashville, TN-Derek Mason, regarded as one of the nation’s top coordinators, is the new head football coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Mason, who served as associate head coach and Willie Shaw Director of Defense for the 2013 Pac-12 champion Stanford Cardinal, will be introduced Saturday as the Commodores’ 28th head coach at McGugin Athletics Center by Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos and Director of Athletics David Williams II. The event, scheduled at 10 a.m. CST, will be live streamed on the university’s athletics website,

“Derek Mason is the leader we trust to continue the challenging but exciting work that has elevated the Vanderbilt football program to unprecedented heights,” 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,” 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 becomes head coach of a Commodore program that has enjoyed consecutive nine-win seasons and postseason Top 25 rankings for the first time in team history. The 2013 Vanderbilt squad finished 9-4, capped by a 41-24 victory over Houston in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

“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.”