Jan. 18, 2014
Meet Coach Mason | Mason Named Head Coach | What They're Saying | Fisher Interview
VUCast Extra: Behind-the-Scenes | Mason Sets Path | Ticket Information | Photos
Vanderbilt University held a news conference Saturday morning to introduce Derek Mason as the 28th head coach in Commodore football history.
Mason was joined by Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos and Vice Chancellor/Director of Athletics David Williams II. WATCH
Additional information, updates and more are available on vanderbilt.edu/coach.
David Williams, Vanderbilt Director of Athletics
"Last week we all met and I told you all we were starting on a process. Well now I can tell you we are at the end of that process. We had over 65 to 70 interests from a lot of different places, of a lot of different varieties. We went through our evaluations and chose a few people for interviews. A lot of people did a lot of work to get us to this point. I want to especially thank our fans who were tolerant and appreciate to let us do our process. I want to thank the players, our three associate athletics directors that helped with all this hard work; Kevin Colon, Candice Lee and Steve Walsh. We had a lot of help from a very good support of ours, John Ingram. I'd also like to thank the chancellor. Chancellor Zeppos is the busiest person on campus and the minute we set out to do this he cleared his calendar and was with us for every minute of it."
Nicholas Zeppos, Vanderbilt University Chancellor
"As I said three years ago when we were in this situation, 'we're all in,' and all in continues. I'd like to thank Commodore Nation. They are patient, they are brave and they are courageous. They stuck with us in a fragile time. There was uncertainty about the direction of our program but they continued to be loyal and supportive. I'd like to thank these Vanderbilt men who went 9-4 this year, took us to another bowl game. As we went into this search we decided this is a highly desirable job. This place is about great academics, its about playing in the greatest football conference in America. This is Nashville, Tenn., this is one of the greatest cities in America. We searched for a coach that could embody all three of these aspects. When Derek got through meeting with us in Atlanta we all looked at each other and said 'this is our coach'. We flew him and his wife back to Nashville and had a celebratory dinner last night."
Derek Mason, Vanderbilt Football Head Coach
"It's been a fun road. I'd like to thank Commodore Nation for coming out. I want to say thank you to my wife LeAnn, I know it has been nerve racking for her along with my two daughters Mackenzie and Sydney, who are both back in Palo Alto. I want to start by thanking Stanford University for what they've done for me and my family. They taught me about what family really is, and that is what I feel here."
"In turning the page forward I'd like to thank Chancellor Zeppos. He embodies what we want to be about, in terms of his clear vision. To Vice Chancellor Williams, one of the coolest people on the planet. It is an amazing experience to be able to sit down with a gentleman and truly believe what he's telling you. That is what it is all about, it's about integrity and character. Those things mean something. To the Vanderbilt community, I'd like to thank you for opening your arms to me and my family and welcoming us into the beautiful city of Nashville. "
"When this job opened up I knew I wanted it. This job means everything to me, this is where I want to end my career."
"I want to say to Vanderbilt Nation, we are going to do two things here. We will educate and graduate our young men. That is what the education is, that is what it speaks to. On the football side of things -- SEC East title, here we come. Make no bones about it, if you can't talk about it you can't be about it. This program is not about me, its about we, it is about us it is about how we carry the torch."
"When you look at this program you see we are primed for greatness. We'll fight everyday. We'll do everything we can to be champions, and we will be champions."
"In terms of recruiting, I've been to Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. I've been in the south recruiting for at least eight years. When you look at my career, it speaks to what we like to do and the kind of men we like to have on our team. We're looking to take this Vanderbilt brand nationwide."
On saving recruiting class by signing day:
"We'll be back out there in 24 hours. I think most young men wanted to know who their head coach was going to be. What we've found is that young men can be nervous about the process when they don't know, but once they know the resolve comes back."
On when recruiting would start:
"I have not started that process yet, but after evaluating the class it is tremendous. There is a wealth of talent, and we are going to add more talent to that roster."
When did you know the job was for you:
"I felt it when I walked into the room. It felt like family. There is one goal and one mission. When they stated their goal, and I stated my mission, we knew it was a fit."
What are you looking for on the offensive side of the ball:
"We are looking for balance. As a defensive coach the thing that hurts you the most is balance. When we line up I want to be able to take advantage of match-ups. I got a chance to look at our offense and our offensive personnel, I got a chance to watch the bowl game, and this is a talented group of young men."
How are you going to handle the coaching transition:
"I am not going to try and be James Franklin, I'm Derek Mason, I'm your new head coach. In that process I want to continue to move forward and work towards winning ballgames."
On addressing the team for the first time:
"It was spectacular. This group of young men is special. It took about 25 seconds as I looked around the room to realize that this was family."