Clark Lea addresses his plan, expectations for Vanderbilt's offense, facilities
As Clark Lea transitions to becoming the new head coach at Vanderbilt, two of the main questions he faces surround the offense and facilities, and how he sees both areas improving.
Lea explained that in terms of facilities, he has a voice, but he is more focused on the players, and building a culture, and once that happens, the buildings will follow.
“There’s so much to be energized about around the facility,” Lea said Sunday morning at his introductory news conference. “But the structures simply don’t matter, it just doesn’t matter, the focus has to be on the players. Obviously sustaining success and reaching our potential, being in new buildings and that commitment that’s shown will be important in pushing this program forward. But my primary focus here, knowing that those things will happen is not about being the architect, or helping decide what color the seats are, or anything like that. That’s just not what’s important to me. What’s important to me is that when you watch a game, you’re watching a team that you can get behind, that you can rally behind, that you can believe in. Again, a team that’s competitive and a team that’s tough and a team that’s reflective of this university.”
As an alumnus and former athlete at Vanderbilt, Lea said it is very personal to him.
“The facilities, when they come, they’ll come, we’ll all celebrate them, it’ll be great,” he said. “But before the buildings, I’m interested in what this team’s going to look like and how we’re going to build that competitive mindset day in and day out.”
About the offense, Lea said, “I understand the question and I want to assure everyone that as a defensive coordinator, I’ve been dying to focus on offense for a while. Because that stresses me out … There will be time and energy put into finding the right coordinator.”
It also comes down to finding a balance.
“This has to be about getting the ball to our playmakers in space,” Lea said. “There has to be an explosive element to this, and I’m excited to create that. The way you win games in the fourth quarter is with a powerful running game.”