UPDATE: The Tennessean has confirmed. Original story below.
Last week, Vanderbilt fired three assistant coaches, including offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell. It turns out Derek Mason wasn't done culling the branches of his leadership tree just yet.
CoachingSearch.com reports that the Commodores will not retain defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach David Kotulski in 2015. Kotulski had just finished his first season in Nashville after spending two years at Stanford as the Cardinal's inside linebackers coach. As DC, he helped Vandy implement the switch from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4. However, the 'Dores struggled early in the season and didn't begin to meet their potential until late in the year.
Kotulski had a tough task in front of him thanks to heavy attrition amongst the team's defense. Vanderbilt had to replace eight starters in 2014, including the team's entire secondary. This led to a significant decrease in defensive output in Mason's first year at the helm:
|Opp. pass yards
|Opp. rush yards
The Commodores allowed nearly nine more points per game in 2014 than they did in 2013 - something that a diminished offense couldn't overcome en route to a 3-9 season. If the reports are true, that performance ultimately punched the clock on Kotulski's first FBS coordinator job. While the switch to the 3-4 defense appeared to be taking root as the season wore on, Mason and the Vanderbilt administration decided that they had seen enough to make a change.
We'll have more details at AoG - including any confirmation or denial of the report and any hiring rumors - as they develop.