Clark Lea reportedly targets 'up-and-coming' SEC assistant during Vanderbilt DC search
Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea is working to round out his coaching staff, and has reportedly targeted a former colleague who has most recently worked at Texas A&M.
FootballScoop has reported that Aggies linebackers coach Tyler Santucci, who previously worked alongside Lea on Notre Dame’s defensive staff in 2017 was in Nashville this weekend to discuss the opening. Santucci is viewed as one of the “top two or three” candidates for the Commodores’ defensive play-caller post.
Santucci has worked twice at Wake Forest, Texas State, Notre Dame and most recently as the linebackers coach for Jimbo Fisher. The Stony Brook graduate began his career in 2011 at his alma mater, then became a graduate assistant at Wake Forest from 2014-15. He moved to Texas State in 2016 coaching linebackers, then was a defensive analyst at Notre Dame in 2017 and with the Aggies in 2018. He went to Wake in 2019, and was in his first season as a full-time coach with the Aggies in 2020.
Santucci worked with both Lea and current Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko at Notre Dame, and the trio have remained extremely close to this day. The group, including Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, all remain close friends, FootballScoop reported.
According to his Aggie bio, Santucci in December 2013 was one of four linebackers named to the Big South’s All-Decade Team.