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Vanderbilt signs head football coach Derek Mason to contract extension


NCAA Football: Tennessee at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Mason has a 24-38 record over five years, a 9-31 SEC record, a 17-21 record over the last three years, and three straight wins over Tennessee. His two best seasons saw the team go 6-6 in the regular season and lose a bowl game.

He previously signed a contract extension following the 2016 season — the first time the team went 6-6 under his watch. And on Friday, he signed another one.

(Also signing extensions: men’s golf coach Scott Limbaugh and bowling coach John Williamson. One of these has two national titles and the other has come pretty damn close.)

There’s no word on the length of the extension or the size of the buyout, and there probably won’t be. The latter, as always, is the important part: so long as the buyout is something the university can afford to pay if necessary, the new contract does little more than provide the appearance of job security (an important thing on the recruiting trail, but especially when you’re Vanderbilt) while not really handcuffing the university in any meaningful way. If there’s a stupid buyout clause in there, though, Malcolm Turner is off to a bad start here.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this. I’m not itching to fire the coach at all, but I’m almost positive some portion of the fan base is going to think the coach hasn’t exactly earned an extension. Which is a fair point; of course, the reality of college football in 2019 for the Vanderbilts of the world is that your coach must either have a few years remaining on his contract at all times or he has to be relieved of his duties.