Derek Mason comments on Vanderbilt's decision to commit to him for the 2020 season
Derek Mason will be back as the head coach of Vanderbilt next season, it was announced on Tuesday by athletic director Malcolm Turner, and the coach was able to respond to his boss’ comments soon afterward.
“I appreciate the support of Malcolm Turner and this university,” Mason said. “If you look at where we are, that’s not where we want to be. The standard is higher. We understand that. We will continue to work and grind. There’s football left in this season so for us we have to be squarely focused on where we are at, but to hear, to publicly have a statement go out about where I sit right now in terms of our season and what we’re doing, it’s a strong statement of support and I thank him.”
According to Mason, one of the biggest obstacles he faces is the number of resources that Vanderbilt has compared to the rest of the programs in the SEC.
“There’s a lot that factors into that, but when you look at it, recruiting in terms of where we are at, you talk about facilities,” Mason said. “You talk about understanding who we are and making sure we resource ourselves properly to give us the best chance to be our best Vanderbilt.”
Since taking over the Commodores’ job in 2014, Mason has had limited success, winning six games and taking the team to a bowl game twice (2016, 2018) but has never ended the season with a winning record. Things completely fell apart in 2019 as the SEC team currently stands 2-8 (1-6 SEC) with a loss to Purdue and UNLV adding onto the pain.
Despite a poor overall record, Mason has defeated in-state rival Tennessee three years in a row. That’s an achievement not seen in Nashville dating back to the 1920s.
Senior tight end Cody Markel says his coach is the right person to lead the program in the future.
“I know everyone on the team knows coach Mason is the man for the job,” Markel said. “This program will continue to get better.”
Overall, Mason’s record stands at 26-46 and 10-37 in conference play.