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OFFICIAL: Clark Lea is Vanderbilt’s head coach

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The Nashville native and Vanderbilt alum is coming home.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

Clark Lea is home.

The Nashville native and former Vanderbilt Commodores fullback was announced as the program’s 29th head football coach on Monday night, hours after rumors started to break that the Notre Dame defensive coordinator would be headed to Nashville.

At Notre Dame, Lea’s defenses have ranked among the best in the country in his three years as coordinator. In 36 games, opponents have scored 21 or fewer points 25 times, including seven times in this year’s 10-0 campaign.

Lea will be officially introduced at a press conference next week, which will be streamed live on vucommodores.com. In the meantime, he’ll coach Notre Dame’s defense against Clemson in Saturday’s ACC Championship game and, perhaps, the College Football Playoff.

Superficially, this hire looks similar to Derek Mason’s hire almost seven years ago, but a closer look at the two men should give cause for excitement — after all, well, just look at the comments on One Foot Down about the prospect of Lea departing.

Welcome home, Coach. Here’s to the future. Anchor Down.