Head Coach Derek Mason introduced his coaching staff at the Commodores' Signing Day Event.
Vavae Tata enters his first season at Vanderbilt. He serves in a non-coaching role, as an assistant in player development.
Tata and Director of Player Development Tosin Abari will work to enhance program academic progress as staff liaisons with the Academic Center, assist the Life Skills Coordinator to foster community service among student-athletes, and contribute on matters related to the NFL such as assisting scouts with player evaluations and coordinating Pro Day activities on campus.
Tata and Mason were associates at Stanford during the 2012-13 seasons, with Tata serving as a defensive assistant while Mason worked as the Cardinal associate head coach and defensive coordinator. He served on the Stanford football staff during the 2012-13 seasons, both ending with the Cardinal winning Pac-12 titles and playing in the Rose Bowl.
Prior to joining Mason as an defensive assistant at the Stanford, Tata spent the 2010-11 seasons at San Jose State as a graduate assistant defensive line coach. At San Jose State, Tata worked for Head Coach Mike MacIntyre, a former Vanderbilt student-athlete and son of former Commodore head coach George MacIntyre.
Tata began his coaching career in 2006, serving two years as a defensive line coach at McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Tata was a standout defensive end at UCLA, becoming a four-year letterwinner from 1994-98. His final appearance as a Bruin came in the 1999 Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.
Tata's family has a remarkable football heritage in his native Hawaii. Tata and four brothers have gone from high school in Honolulu to earn Division I scholarships.
Tata's Career 2014 - Vanderbilt - Assistant, Player Development
2012-13 - Stanford - Defensive Assistant
2011 - Pittsburgh (NFL) - Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship
2010-11 - San Jose State - Graduate Assistant (Defense)
2009 - UCLA - Defensive Assistant
2008 - UCLA - Graduate Assistant (Defense)