We’ll have to wait until at least to see how Vanderbilt looks on the football field under Clark Lea, but the new Commodores head coach is making some interesting hires.

Robbie Weinstein of Vandy247 reports that Lea is hiring Barton Simmons, currently 247Sports’ director of scouting, to be Vanderbilt’s “general manager,” a director of player personnel position. Simmons and Lea were high school teammates at Montgomery Bell Academy.

Lea, who returns his alma mater after most recently serving as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator has already made one “outside-the-box” hire for his off-field staff. On Saturday, it was reported that Lea has hired Casey Stangel as director of football operations. Stangel is set to be the SEC’s first female director of football operations or equivalent, coming over from Tim Corbin’s Vanderbilt baseball staff.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Vanderbilt recruits under Lea with Simmons and Stangel holding key off-field positions.

The 38-year old Lea is a Nashville, Tennessee native and was a Commodores fullback from 2002-04. He got into coaching as a graduate assistant at UCLA in 2006. From there, he climbed the coaching ladder with stops at South Dakota State and a return to UCLA before going to Bowling Green (linebackers coach, 2012), Syracuse (linebackers, 2013-15) and Notre Dame as linebackers coach (2017) and defensive coordinator (2018-20).