NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Vanderbilt Athletics announced on Sunday it is "parting ways" with head football coach Derek Mason.
Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee has not commented why this decision was made, but did say in a statement:
“While this was a difficult decision, I know this change is necessary. We wish Derek and his entire family the best.”
She went on to say:
"On behalf of the entire Vanderbilt community, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Coach Mason for his many years of dedication and service leading our football program. Derek cares deeply about the student-athletes under his charge. His tenure at Vanderbilt will be remembered for his steadfast commitment to our student-athletes, not only on the field, but in the classroom and as young people.”
Lee said offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will sere as interim head coach until a replacement is named. A search will begin immediately.
In a twitter post, Mason, whose team is currently 0-8 this season, shared gratitude for his time at Vanderbilt.
"It has truly been my honor to have been given the opportunity to teach, mentor, champion and coach hundreds of Vanderbilt young men and one courageous female. I am confident that our current student-athletes and their families are in good hands with Chancellor Diermeier and Director of Athletics Candice Lee and will continue to rise to today's challenges with integrity and character.
Mason became Vanderbilt’s 28th head coach in 2014. He was only the second coach there to lead two Commodore teams to postseason bowls. Mason was the sixth-winningest coach in the program's history, with a 27-55 record.