A week after James Franklin decided to leave for Penn State, Vanderbilt has found his replacement. According to the Tennessean, Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason will be the Commodores’ next coach.
Mason is a highly regarded defensive coach and was a key piece in Stanford’s recent run of success. The Arizona native worked at Stanford from 2010-13, including the last three years as the defensive coordinator.
Prior to his stint at Stanford, Mason worked for three years as an assistant with the Vikings (2007-09) and served as an assistant at various stops in college from 1994-2006.
Mason’s experience at an academic institution like Stanford should be a huge plus at Vanderbilt. And he is also regarded as an excellent recruiter and motivator.
There's no question James Franklin set the bar high for Vanderbilt, and Mason has some work to do in order to get the Commodores back in a bowl game in 2014. This appears to be a solid hire for Vanderbilt and one that should help continue to improve its football program.