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Derek Mason Reacts To Getting Fired By Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason on the sideline.

MURFREESBORO, TN - SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Derek Mason of the Vanderbilt Commodores watches from the sideline during the second half of a 28-6 Vanderbilt victory over the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders at Floyd Stadium on September 2, 2017 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

After seven seasons as head coach at Vanderbilt, Derek Mason is out as head coach of the Commodores. But he's taking his dismissal from the job in stride.

On Sunday, Mason released a statement thanking the school for the opportunity and praising the direction of the program. He expressed confidence that the school will continue to embrace the culture he worked to build.

"It is with with gratitude that I have served as the head football coach at Vanderbilt University, a world-class institution, for the past seven years," Mason wrote. "I am blessed to have worked alongside and built relationships with some of the finest and most dedicated coaches, staff and faculty in the nation. It has truly been my honor to have been given the opportunity to teach, mentor champion and coach hundreds of Vanderbilt young men and one courageous female.

"I am confident that our current student-athletes and their families are in good hands with Chancellor Diermeier and Director of Athletics Candice Lee and will continue to rise to today's challenges with integrity and character.

"From the entire Mason family, including my beautiful wife LeighAnne and our incredibly daughters Makenzie and Sydney, we thank the Nashville community and Commodore Nation for consistently embracing us with your kindness, friendship and warmth."

Derek Mason was hired in 2014 following several stellar years under James Franklin. While Mason never reached the nine-game threshold that Franklin got Vanderbilt to, he led them to bowl eligibility twice.

At 51 years of age, Mason is likely far from done coaching at the highest levels of college football. Whether he looks for another head coaching job right away or signs on as an assistant at another big program remains to be seen though.

There are going to be plenty of openings after this season. We can expect Derek Mason to fill at least one of them.