Vanderbilt begins search for new leader of Commodore football program

Vanderbilt  Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director  Candice  Storey  Lee  announced yesterday that the university is parting ways with  head  football  coach Derek Mason and will begin a search for a new head coach of the Commodores.

Offensive coordinator  Todd Fitch  will serve as interim head coach.

“On behalf of the entire Vanderbilt community, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Coach Mason for his many years of dedication and service leading our football program,” Lee said. “Derek cares deeply about the student-athletes under his charge.  His tenure at Vanderbilt will be remembered for his steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, not only on the field,  but in the classroom and as young people.”

Mason became Vanderbilt’s 28th head coach in 2014, coming to Nashville after serving as Stanford University’s associate head coach and defense coordinator. Just the second coach in Vanderbilt history to lead two Commodore teams to postseason bowls, Mason was also the first Vanderbilt coach since the 1920s to defeat Tennessee in three consecutive meetings. Mason, the sixth-winningest coach in program history, compiled  a 27-55  overall record at Vanderbilt.

“This was a difficult decision, but I know this change is necessary,” Lee said. “Working alongside Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, we have bold ambitions for a new chapter—one that raises Vanderbilt Athletics to the highest standards of excellence. We have the talent and the will to make this vision a reality, and we are going to work hard to bring that vision to life.”

The search for a new head coach will begin immediately. Lee said she will be looking for someone who not only can help Vanderbilt’s student-athletes win championships, but also someone who shares the university’s deep commitment to giving student-athletes the opportunity to reach their full potential.