Derek Mason Replacements: Top 10 Candidates For The Next Vanderbilt Commodores Head Coach

Vanderbilt Football announced Derek Mason is fired as head coach, meaning it is now searching for the next Vanderbilt head coach. So who are the top candidates to replace Derek Mason as the Commodores head coach? We’ve got the top Vanderbilt targets and some realistic options.

The Vanderbilt head coaching job isn’t the best one in this year’s college football coaching carousel. Vandy is a tough place to win and there aren’t a ton of big names who make sense, outside of maybe Jeff Fisher. As a result, expect the top coach candidates to be coordinators or head coaches at smaller schools. 

Proven coaches could be high on Vanderbilt’s head coach candidate list and there are several who make sense. They are at smaller schools, but Jamey Chadwell, Lance Leipold and Will Healy have built up programs at Coastal Carolina, Buffalo and Charlotte. Willie Fritz is a sleeper name to watch and there are plenty of ties to the school with Louisiana Tech’s Skip Holtz. 

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Vanderbilt Football could go with a coordinator hire, and one in particular makes sense: Notre Dame DC Clark Lea. They could also explore other options in Mike MacIntyre (who played for Vandy and whose dad coached at Vanderbilt), Rhett Lashlee and Brent Pry. 

Derek Mason’s firing wasn’t a huge surprise after a 0-8 start. The move comes after an extension in early 2019, but Mason won just 3 games in 17 chances after that deal. Vanderbilt is a private school, which means the buyout isn’t publicly available. Regardless, it’ll cost the school at least a little bit. 

Here’s the full Top 10 Candidates List: 
#10 Brent Pry, Penn State DC
#9 Mike MacIntyre, Memphis DC
#8 Rhett Lashlee, Miami (FL) OC
#7 Jeff Fisher, Former NFL HC 
#6 Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech HC
#5 Willie Fritz, Tulane HC
#4 Will Healy, Charlotte HC
#3 Jamey Chadwell, CCU HC
#2  Lance Leipold, Buffalo HC
#1 Clark Lea, Notre Dame DC

FOLLOW: Tom Downey is the Senior Writer & On-Air Host at Chat Sports. Please follow him on Twitter @Whatgoingdowney. 

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