Vanderbilt has hired Stanford’s defensive coordinator Derek Mason to replace James Franklin as its next head coach, according to a 247Sports reports. Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton were other rumored candidates. Mason will be the fifth African-American head coach in SEC history.
Mason is considered one of college football’s best up-and-coming assistants. His Cardinal defenses have ranked in the top 15 in both scoring and yards/play the past two years. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award in 2012. Vanderbilt has ranked in the Top 25 in yards/play defense the past three seasons. They return nine projected fourth or fifth year starters in 2014 as well as depth.
Task one for Mason will be fighting off the school’s former coach for 2014 recruits.
He is not to be confused with longtime Titans and Ravens receiver Derrick Mason.
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