Vanderbilt insider lists potential candidates to replace Derek Mason
Vanderbilt made the move to fire Derek Mason in hopes of having plenty of time to give recruits enough time to evaluate the program ahead of the Dec. 16 early signing period.
But whether it’s an alumnus, or a couple of up-and-coming names in the mix, even a former NFL head coach, Chris Lee of Vandy Sports has compiled a list of potential candidates to replace Derek Mason.
The candidates are: Jamey Chadwell, head coach, Coastal Carolina, Jeff Fisher, former NFL head coach Oilers/Titans, Rams, Will Healy, head coach, Charlotte and Clark Lea, Notre Dame defensive coordinator.
Chadwell, 43, spent time at East Tennessee State (2000-03) and Charleston Southern (2009-11) as an assistant, then the the next three seasons as the head coach at Division II North Greenville, where he went 20-14 and led the school to its first playoff appearance.
Chadwell is from Anderson County (Tenn.) and played at ETSU. Multiple sources indicated to VandySports in mid-November that he’s interested in the job.
Fisher served as a head coach in the NFL for 22 total seasons with the Houston Oiliers/Tennessee Titans and St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams. He led the Titans to the Super Bowl in 1999 and an AFC Championship Game appearance in 2002. Lee reported that Fisher has been lobbying for the job for over a year and would take it in a heartbeat if offered.
Healy is in his second year as the head coach at Charlotte, which did not begin playing football until 2013. He was 13-21 during his three-year tenure at Austin Peay and was as 8-4 and 5-6 in his final two seasons with the Governors. Lee reported that Healy has strong ties to Vanderbilt and worked miracles at Austin Peay, which might be a tougher place to win that VU. Healy would have strong support among the fan and booster base and would make considerably more at Vanderbilt.
Lea is in his third season at Notre Dame, his third as defensive coordinator. He transferred to Vanderbilt and played football as a walk-on fullback from 2002-2004. Lea and has family reportedly have roots with Vanderbilt that span generations.