Multiple head coaching jobs are already open in the SEC, as the Vanderbilt Commodores fired Derek Mason after an 0-8 start to the 2020 season.
Mason never had a winning season in his seven years with the program. A change needed to be made, but the pressure will be on the athletic department to find the right candidate for the job.
During the latest edition of the ‘CFP Podcast with Herbie, Pollack & Negandhi,’ ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit discussed the job opening at Vanderbilt.
Herbstreit mentioned an interesting choice for the job at Vanderbilt. He’s all in on Clark Lea, the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame.
“I know Clark Lea — he went to high school (where) my boys go to high school here, Montgomery Bell Academy, I think he went to Vandy,” Herbstreit said, via Saturday Down South. “So his name’s going to be prominent because of the job he’s doing with the Notre Dame defense. He’s going to be a head coach, whether it’s next season (or not). Jeff Hafley edged him out to get the (Boston College) job, so he’s a name that’s going to be out there.”
The odds of Vanderbilt landing a marquee name like Bob Stoops are slim to none at this point. That being said, pursuing a young coach like Lea could pay off in the long run.
Lea’s defense has been stout against the run this year, as the Fighting Irish are giving up 85.3 yards per game on the ground.
Another reason Herbstreit believes Lea would be a good fit for Vanderbilt is the fact that he once played for the program. He was a fullback for the team from 2002-2004.
Vanderbilt might not solve its offensive woes by hiring Lea, but we’ve seen plenty of defensive-minded coaches have success at the collegiate level.