In 2013, defensive coordinator and safeties coach Bob Shoop returns for his third year after guiding two of the most impressive 'Dore defenses in many years.
Shoop's defense improved as the 2013 season progressed with the Commodore's "Black Death" closing the season in a big way allowing only 13.5 points per game during Vanderbilt's season-ending, four-game winning streak.
The defense forced at least one turnover in the final seven games. During the seven-game streak, VU has forced 23 turnovers with a season-high five takeaways at Texas A&M. It should come as no surprise the Commodores were 6-1 in the seven games the team has forced a turnover and 9-2 for the season in games forcing at least one turnover. Vanderbilt's 30 takeaways were the second-most in the Southeastern Conference.
The defense saved some of their best efforts for the team's last three games. Over the last three games, the Commodores allowed opponents to gain only 255 yards per game and average only 109 yards per game passing.
The defense was one of the best in the SEC against the pass ranking fourth in pass defense effeciency and picking off 16 passes - second-most in the league.
Shoop also mentored two of the team's top defenders in Kenny Ladler and Javon Marshall, who two of the top three tacklers on the squad. Ladler is on pace to lead the Commodores in tackles for the second consecutive year.
Shoop's 2012 defense continued the same positive trend that began in 2011 when it enjoyed stunning, across-the-board improvement. In 2012, the unit ranked among the nation's best in several key statistics: 14th in pass defense, 15th in scoring defense and 19th in total defense Vanderbilt's 18.6-point scoring defense has been bettered only once in the last 30 years on campus. Its pass defense averaged allowing just 191.8 yards, third in the SEC. The Commodores' total defense of 339.9 ranked fifth best in the conference.
Shoop's attacking squad also performed well in third down situations. In 2012, the unit ranked fifth in the SEC - and 25th in the NCAA - in third down success. The 'Dores allowed just 18.2 first downs. The pressuring unit also producing tackles for losses in bunches, ranking second in the SEC with 97 tackles for loss.
Several of Shoop's defensive standouts enjoyed individual success. Cornerback Andre Hal garnered All-SEC honors. Shoop also mentored rapidly-developing safeties Kenny Ladler and Javon Marshall. The duo shared the team lead with 60 total tackles.
Shoop directed the 2011 unit to staggering levels of improvement. Under Shoop's guidance, the Commodore defense ranked ninth in the NCAA in pass defense efficiency and 18th in total defense. The 2011 defense was paced by All-America cornerback Casey Hayward, who tied the team career record with 15 interceptions, and linebacker Chris Marve, who earned All-SEC honors for the third straight year.
Shoop joined Vanderbilt following a superb four-year tenure as defensive coordinator at William & Mary where the one-time Columbia head coach guided a remarkable transformation of the Tribe defense.
At William & Mary, Shoop's defenses ranked among the top defenses in NCAA FCS football. In 2009, W&M ended the year first nationally in rush defense (61.1 ypg) and second in scoring defense (12.1 ppg.). The performance helped earn Shoop the 2009 FootballScoop NCAA FCS Coordinator of the Year Award. He was also nominated for FootballScoop's 2011 Defensive Back Coach of the Year Award after his first season at Vanderbilt.
Shoop's résumé spans two decades, including three stints as a defensive coordinator (Yale, 1994-96; Villanova, 1997; William & Mary, 2007-10) and three years as the head coach at Columbia (2003-05).
Before becoming Columbia's head coach, Shoop served as secondary coach at Boston College from 1999-2002.
As an assistant, Shoop has been on the winning sideline of three classic college rivalries: Army-Navy, Harvard-Yale and Boston College-Notre Dame.
Shoop played collegiate football at Yale. He earned honorable mention
All-Ivy accolades in 1987 as a receiver and was recognized with Yale Football's prestigious Robert Gardner Anderson Memorial Award for team spirit, dedication and leadership. He also earned four letters in baseball. A native of Oakmont, Pa., Shoop was inducted into the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
Shoop and his wife, Maura, have two children, Tyler and Jay. Shoop's brother, John, is regarded as a top offensive mind and served as offensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina last year.
The Shoop File Personal Date of Birth: Aug. 18, 1966 Hometown: Oakmont, Pa. Alma Mater: Yale (1988) Education: Bachelor of Arts, economics, Yale (1988) Family: wife, Maura; two sons, Tyler and Jay
Shoop's Coaching Career
2011-current - Vanderbilt (defensive coordinator/safeties)
2007-10 - William & Mary (defensive coordinator, secondary) 2006 - University of Massachusetts (defensive backs) 2003-05 - Columbia (head coach) 1999-2002 - Boston College (defensive secondary) 1998 - Army (defensive secondary) 1997 - Villanova (defensive coordinator) 1994-96 - Yale (defensive coordinator) 1991-93 - Northeastern (defensive backs) 1990 - Virginia (graduate assistant) 1989 - Yale (graduate assistant)