BREAKING: Head Coach Derek Mason to return to Vanderbilt in 2020

Athletic Director Malcolm Turner tweeted his support for Mason early Tuesday morning.


Hunter Long

Head Coach Derek Mason addresses Malcolm Turner’s announcement in his Tuesday press conference. (Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long)

Max Schneider, Sports Editor

This story will continue to be updated as The Vanderbilt Hustler receives more information.

Updated November 19 at 12:50 p.m.

Derek Mason will be on the sidelines come the opening week of the 2020 Commodore football season. Athletic Director Malcolm Turner announced on Tuesday that he would be retaining the Vanderbilt head coach, bringing him back for his seventh season at the helm.

“I want to make it very clear that Derek Mason will be our head football coach moving forward,” Turner said in a tweet. “Coach Mason has my full support and I am committed to working with him to ensure our football program has the necessary resources and support to succeed.”

Athletics reiterated the information from the Tweet in an email to The Hustler Tuesday morning.

Mason’s team is 2-8 this season and 1-6 in SEC play. In his six years at the helm, Vanderbilt is 26-46 overall and 10-37 in conference games. He has also taken the Commodores to two bowl games in the past three years, going 0-2 in such games. The Commodores have never had a winning record under his leadership.

“We are in the midst of developing a new and robust athletic strategic plan with the vision to put the football program and all of our varsity sports in a position to win on and off the field of play,” Turner continued. “Coach Mason is committed to leading Vanderbilt’s football program the right way and we will move forward in that spirit together.”

Mason took the podium at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday to address Turner’s announcement.

“I definitely appreciate the support of Malcolm Turner and this university,” Mason said. “When you look at where we are, that’s not where we want to be. The standard is higher. We understand that we’re gonna continue to work and grind.”

Mason talked about how Turner has been involved in the football program internally and has looked closely at other programs to see how Vanderbilt compares.

“Our conversations have been short and very very specific about what is our best Vanderbilt,” Mason said. “I’ve been sort of just in a zone just trying to figure out exactly what I need to do within my own program, but I really appreciated him going to look at other places and other programs and seeing how Vanderbilt stacks up. There’s a lot of factors in there but when you look at it. You talk about facilities, you talk about recruiting, understanding who we are and making sure that we resource ourselves properly.”

Mason reverberated Turner’s statements that Vanderbilt needs more resources to be competitive and cited stability as a driving force in making progress.

“Consistent change never leads you to where you want to go,” Mason continued. “You’ve got to be growing but you’ve got to have some stability.”

Tight end Cody Markel echoed his coach’s sentiment.

“There’s always a sense of continuity that’s really great,” said Markel. “I know everyone on the team thinks that Coach Mason’s the man for the job and I don’t think that’s changed.”

“Vanderbilt looks different than the other teams in this conference,” Mason said.

The program might look different, but going forward, the man on the sidelines will be the exact same.