Vanderbilt Hires Clark Lea to Be Next Head Football Coach

By Matthew Filipovits on December 14, 2020 at 8:47 pm
Apr 21, 2018; Notre Dame, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Clark Lea watches warmups before the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
© Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Vanderbilt has hired Clark Lea to be their next head football coach, bringing the Vandy alum and Nashville native back home.

Lea has spent the past four seasons on the Notre Dame defensive staff, serving as defensive coordinator for the last three seasons. He previously had coaching stops at UCLA, Bowling Green, Syracuse, and Wake Forest. Just 38 years old, Lea becomes one of the youngest head coaches in the FBS.

He takes over for Derek Mason, who struggled to repeat James Franklin's success at Vandy. Viewed as one of the toughest jobs in major college football, Vanderbilt has not had a winning season since 2013 and with the No. 13 recruiting class in the SEC next season, help isn't exactly on the way.

Lea is expected to coach out the remainder o the season with the Irish, who are expected to make the College Football Playoff for the second time in his tenure.