This is a huge day for Vanderbilt fans. Multiple reports stating Clark Lea is Vandy's guy to take over for Derek Mason as head coach of Vanderbilt football. Hopefully, unlike in years past, the administration is not going to waste this incredible hire.
As I see all the comments coming in on this news, such as, "won't matter," "can't win there anyway," etc. People bring up a fair point - they do this unknowingly, I'm assuming because I know they don't realize the ungodly frustration we fans have had with the administration handling football. Nevertheless a fair point, it starts with the administration giving detailed, measurable information/plans in regards to locker room, stadium, and other facility upgrades surrounding football. We've got our guy, now how are we going to help him succeed in an uphill fight in the toughest conference in football?
Clark Lea can recruit very well, he showed this at Notre Dame bringing in guys who are going to be playing on Sundays. Not to mention he has led ND to one of the best defenses in college football and a chance to possibly play in the CFP. There are questions if Vandy should've pursued an offensive-minded HC for the job, but to me, you can't not go with former Commodore Clark Lea to get Vandy out of the ruins we find ourselves in. Yes, Mason was a DC before taking the job, but it felt like every year he was still trying to figure out an identity for the team he would be leading. The only consistent years came with Kyle Shurmur leading our offense.
Well, Lea has his quarterback for the next 3-4 years, 4 because everyone gets an extra year due to Covid, and defense will immediately be improved as it was so abysmal this year. It's not about play on the field as much as it is about what will the administration commit to doing in the next few years. If Lea is in fact taking this job, I hope he's making Diermeier and Lee add into his contract a promise/guarantee that facilities will be improved to compete with the rest of the teams in the SEC. We've heard the run around, yet again, recently from our administration with no details other than "making an effort to be competitive" and "ensure it is fun for student athletes." I believe it was Mike Organ that said it best, "Winning makes it fun for the student athletes."
We are one of the founding schools of the best conference in college football, yet nobody would be able to tell from how the administration has allowed football to dwell and lay at the bottom each year. I think I speak for all fans when I say, please don't ruin this for us. Give Clark everything he needs to succeed at Vandy. It's not going to make the school look less prestigious, it will only help. You have the money, spend it on football for once. What's the worst that can happen?
A longwinded rant with a hopeful outlook on the future of my favorite college football team. Anchor down. Long time fan, first time post, but get used to it because I'll be around.