Derek Mason putting together good staff at Vanderbilt


Derek Mason has been under the gun since he agreed to become Vanderbilt’s next head coach. He had less than three weeks to put together a coaching staff and pick up the pieces of a recruiting class that was seemingly falling apart.

Related: Mason picked up first Vandy commitment

For the short run, Mason’s main focus has been putting together a great staff, and he’s doing just that.

Mason hired Stanford’s inside linebackers coach David Kotulski as his new defensive coordinator. Mason brought Kotulski to Stanford from Lehigh, where he was the defensive coordinator for six seasons.

He also hired Karl Dorrell as his new offensive coordinator. Dorrell has both NFL and college experience, and he coached the Houston Texans’ quarterbacks the last two seasons. Dorrell was UCLA’s head coach from 2003-07 and has been an offensive coordinator at three different college schools in Washington, Colorado and Northern Arizona.

Related: Top QB prospect tells Mason thanks, but no thanks

With two position coaching hires left, let’s take a look at his staff thus far:


  • Karl Dorrell, Offensive coordinator (Houston Texans)
  • Kevin Lightner, Offensive line coach (Ohio Bobcats)
  • Gerry Gdowski, Wide receivers coach (Ohio Bobcats)
  • Charles Bankins, Running backs coach (Vanderbilt Commodores)


  • David Kotulski, Defensive coordinator/Inside linebackers coach (Stanford Cardinal)
  • Kenwick Thompson, Outside linebackers coach (San Jose State)
  • Vavae Tata, Defensive line coach (Stanford Cardinal)

Support staff

  • John Haskins, Director of player personnel (Stanford Cardinal)
  • Jason Grooms, Director of football operations (Ohio Bobcats)
  • Bill Hughan, Strength and conditioning coordinator (Stanford Cardinal)

Photo Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports



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