Vanderbilt ‘parts ways’ with head football coach Derek Mason

SEC Football

FILE – In this Oct. 31, 2020, file photo, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason looks on from the sideline during an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt women’s soccer goalkeeper Sarah Fuller has practiced with the football team, and coach Derek Mason says she’s an option at kicker Saturday against Missouri. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Vanderbilt athletic director Candice Storey Lee announced Sunday that the university is parting ways with head football coach Derek Mason.

She said that offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will serve as interim head coach until a replacement for Mason could be named.

“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, after serving as Stanford’s associate head coach and defensive 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 1920’s to defeat Tennessee in three consecutive meetings, a release detailed. Mason, the sixth-winningest coach in program history, compiled a 27-55 overall record at Vanderbilt.

“While this was a difficult decision, but I know this change is necessary. We wish Derek and his entire family the best,” Lee added.

According to a Sunday press release, the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

In a letter on social media, Mason said he was grateful for the opportunity to serve as head football coach at Vandy.

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