What they're saying about Derek Mason

New Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason

Jan. 18, 2014

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Lots of people from around the nation are impressed with Vanderbilt's new head coach Derek Mason.

"I am very excited for Derek; this is a great opportunity for he and his wife, Leighanne. Derek is a great teacher and motivator, but more importantly he is a man of high character. We wish him success."
David Shaw
Stanford Head Coach

"Derek is a tremendous person, an outstanding teacher, a spiritual model, a strong communicator, a hard worker and a consummate winner."
Jim Harbaugh
San Francisco 49ers Head Coach

"He's very conscientious. Very down to earth. He really studies the game in an old-time, throwback fashion and he's always looking for a better way to do things. Old school means we weren't blackboard coaches. We were teaching. He is a great teacher."
Willie Shaw
Former NFL & Stanford Defensive Coordinator

"He's fired up every day. He's a workhorse, and he'd go jump on (a cardio machine) three times a day because he'd never ask his players to do something he hasn't done. What I'll remember is the motivational talks and speeches he gives. Sometimes they're out of the blue on a practice day, but he always has something to say before the game when the defense meets. He's right on the money and knows what we need to hear. Not that Coach (David) Shaw doesn't say what the team needs to hear as well, but I wish the entire team could have heard Coach Mason's speeches."
Trent Murphy
Former Stanford All-American LB

"Stanford's had many touted assistants over the past five years. None are more respected by SU colleagues than Derek Mason."
Bruce Feldman
CBSSports.com college football writer

"This is a seamless transition from the brilliance of James Franklin to the promise of Derek Mason for Vandy. The Commodores prospects will no longer resemble the stock exchange -- up and down. Long-term success has been established."
Dennis Dodd
CBSSports.com national college football columnist

"Didn't think Vandy could easily replace James Franklin. With Derek Mason, they just did. Brilliant choice."
Paul Finebaum
ESPN Radio host

"Mason, 43, brought to coaching the same type of energy and fire with which he played as a 5-foot-8 cornerback at Northern Arizona. He hasn't mellowed with age... In his fourth season at Stanford, and only his second with complete control of the defense, Mason has become one of the hottest assistants in the country."
Tom FitzGerald
San Francisco Chronicle writer

"He's just got tremendous drive, and he's really passionate. That's an infectious kind of attitude. And he knows what he's doing. With our team defensively past two, three years, people have come and gone, things have changed. We've got new guys, different skill sets, and he's done a tremendous job kind of changing and planning what we do to fit to the guys we have."
Shayne Skov
Former Stanford linebacker

"Great to hear Derek Mason is getting some love! One of the best defensive minds in college football! Blessing."
Richard Sherman
Seattle Seahawks cornerback & former Stanford defensive back

"Intense but approachable, Mason is extremely popular with the players and a highly effective recruiter."
Jon Wilner
San Jose Mercury writer



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