The Vanderbilt Commodores have hired Stanford Cardinal defensive coordinator Derek Mason as their new head coach, according to a release from the university.
Mason will be introduced at a Saturday morning press conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Mason had been defensive coordinator at Stanford since 2011 after serving as defensive backs coach in 2010 and helped the Cardinal to three consecutive BCS bowl appearances, including back-to-back Rose Bowl bids as Pac-12 Conference champions.
Stanford is expected to name linebackers coach Lance Anderson to replace Mason, according to ESPN.com’s Joe Schad, via Twitter:
Stanford is expected to elevate outside linebackers coach Lance Anderson to defensive coordinator per source.
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 18, 2014
Mason played at Northern Arizona as a defensive back from 1989-92 and entered the coaching ranks in 1994 at San Diego Mesa College. He has never been a head coach prior to accepting the Vanderbilt appointment , but the 44-year-old was an assistant coach at various levels for 20 seasons, including at Weber State (1995-96), Idaho State (1997-98), Bucknell (1999-2001), Utah (2002), Saint Mary’s as defensive coordinator (2003), New Mexico State (2004), Ohio (2005-06) and Stanford.
From 2007-09, Mason was defensive backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings, as well.
“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.”
Vanderbilt was 9-4 in 2013, winning the BBVA Compass Bowl over Houston, 41-24, before coach James Franklin left to take over the program at Penn State. Franklin was 24-15 in three seasons with the Commodores, including back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time in school history and three consecutive bowl appearances, also a program first.
The last two seasons are the first time the program posted back-to-back winning seasons since 1974-75.