The college football season is winding down, but coaching changes have already been made. Vanderbilt fired head coach Derek Mason and the Commodores are now searching for a new person to lead the program. Here are five potential Head Coach Candidates for the Vanderbilt Commodores.
5. Billy Napier
One of the hottest names on the coaching market this offseason is Billy Napier. Napier has taken the Louisiana program to new heights in his three seasons as the head coach. In his first year, the team went 7-7, but this season the Ragin’ Cajuns are 8-1.
Napier knows the south and how to build a winning program. While the SEC would be a giant step up, Napier would be one of the best coaches Vanderbilt could get. The problem might be that Napier could be up for even better job openings this offseason.
4. Jay Norvell
Nevada has had a great season, but it isn’t really getting noticed by the national media. They are 5-1 on the season and Jay Norvell has done a great job with the program. In his first year, they went 3-9, but they have had three straight winning seasons since.
Norvell has been a great offensive coach during his career, which includes time as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator. He may be the person who can rejuvenate the Vanderbilt offense and make them competitive. His recruiting ties are mostly in the west, but he has moved around his whole career making connections.
3. Jeff Fisher
Jeff Fisher has had trouble finding a job at the NFL level since 2016. He lives in Nashville and is reportedly lobbying for the job. This would be one of the biggest names that Vanderbilt has ever hired. He has a 173-165-1 record at the NFL level, but has never coached in college.
While he may have experience coaching in the Nashville area, the biggest question will be whether Fisher can recruit. He has no experience at the college level and doesn’t have the connections that other coaches already have from years in college. Fisher will also have his work cut out for him working at Vanderbilt in the SEC.
2. Jamey Chadwell
Coastal Carolina has had a dream of a season and are undefeated. They rank 14th in the CFP Committee rankings and have done this all after just recently coming up to the FBS level. Jamey Chadwell deserves a lot of the credit, as he has taken the Chanticleers from 3-9 in 2017 to undefeated so far this season.
Chadwell grew up in Tennessee and also played football at East Tennessee State. Not only has Chadwell shown his ability to turn a program around, his connections in the state could help him steer recruits to Vanderbilt.
1. Clark Lea
Clark Lea is currently the defensive coordinator for Notre Dame. He has helped the Fighting Irish allow just 16.7 points per game this season. Lea has held the job since the 2018 season. His coaching has helped the Fighting Irish be undefeated this season, as they look forward to possibly making the CFP.
Lea is from Nashville and attended Vanderbilt, graduating in 2004. He played fullback for the Commodores before moving on to coaching. Lea knows the program and the uphill battle he’ll have at Vanderbilt. He also has recruiting ties all over the country after working for Notre Dame. Lea is a young coach that could be a shot of life to the Vanderbilt program.
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