Report: Vanderbilt has interviewed ACC assistant for head coaching job
Since firing Derek Mason on Nov. 29, Vanderbilt has been looking for its next head coach. And there have been quite a few names featured in rumors the past two weeks.
Among them is Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea, who interviewed for the Commodores’ job on Sunday, according to a report by John Brice of Football Scoop. Lea is a former Vanderbilt student-athlete, having played fullback for the Commodores from 2002-04.
Lea has never been a head coach, but he’s been on Notre Dame’s staff since 2017, serving as the linebackers coach for one season before moving into his current role as defensive coordinator in 2018. He’s also been an assistant at UCLA, South Dakota State, Bowling Green, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
“Vanderbilt just needs to hire Clark Lea and get the damn thing done. He’s a perfect fit there,” a prominent SEC assistant head coach told Brice.
Brice also reported that “it would be premature to indicate that Vanderbilt already had zeroed in on a single candidate.” So, while Lea is apparently the only person to interview for the job thus far, there could be more on the horizon.
Per Brice’s report, former NFL head coaches Jeff Fisher and Bill O’Brien have expressed interest in the Commodores’ job, while Vandy has had discussions with Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell, Charlotte head coach Will Healy and Army head coach Jeff Monken. Alabama running backs coach Charles Huff has also expressed interest, while Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold is “another name to monitor,” per Brice.
Vanderbilt is 0-8 this season with two games remaining against Tennessee and Georgia. Even if the Commodores can pull off an upset victory and avoid their first winless season in program history, they’re already guaranteed of having their seventh straight losing season. So, their new head coach will be looking to get them back on track.