It seems Derek Mason has earned the support of the Vanderbilt administration.
In his third season as football coach, Mason got the Commodores back to a bowl game thanks to late-season wins against Ole Miss and Tennessee. Vanderbilt lost to North Carolina State in the Independence Bowl to finish the season 6-7.
Those results netted Mason a raise and a three-year contract extension. Vanderbilt reportedly also will give raises to multiple Commodores assistants.
Vanderbilt and Mason weren’t able to turn their on-field success into recruiting wins. The Commodores had the lowest-rated 2017 recruiting class among SEC teams. But there is hope for the 2018 class because 4-star quarterback Allan Walters is committed to Vanderbilt. Waters is the No. 14 pro-style quarterback recruit in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
As of this writing, Vanderbilt has the No. 11 recruiting class in the country, sandwiched between Alabama and Georgia.
Vanderbilt didn’t have a spring game and held a non-televised scrimmage instead.
Mason seems to have the support of the Vanderbilt fan base, but he has plenty of room to grow. In the previous SEC Country approval rating poll, Mason came in with a 75.5 percent approval rating, the same as the previous month. Among SEC coaches, Mason sits in ninth.
In his three seasons at Vanderbilt, Mason is 13-24 overall and 5-19 in SEC games. Former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, meanwhile, led Penn State to a Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl appearance last season.
Mason reportedly will be paid a little more than $2.5 million. The Commodores open the 2017 season at Middle Tennessee on Sept. 2.
Vote on Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason’s approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents who select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.