Clark Lea takes over the Vanderbilt program with a unique perspective that he’s had since he left college. Now he gets a chance to implement that vision.

As a Nashville native and Vanderbilt graduate, Lea sees one clear change needed for the Commodores to turn the corner in football. He shared it with Ralph D. Russo on the AP Top 25 Football Podcast. Lea was asked how his knowledge of Vanderbilt helps him identify areas to start the rebuild.

“We’re not putting governors on success here,” Lea said. “We know that success is going to be the accumulation of small wins for us. We also know and believe that that mindset applied over time gives us access to any goal that we wish to achieve as a program. I’m not backing down from making statements about winning here and separating from our competition and the things we feel like are going to separate us long-term from a competitive aspect. Honestly, since I left my time as a player, just this idea to grow this program the right way, the first thing you’re going to have to do is just completely cut off this persistent negative mindset around the program, both internally and externally.”

Lea’s vision is to build Vanderbilt to its potential, but he said that the progression line to success isn’t linear.

“We’re going to have good days and bad days, but it doesn’t change the end goal and the finish line that we’re working towards,” Lea said. “That’s a huge task in terms of separating from the mindset and redirecting everything.”