Derek Mason and his Vanderbilt coaching staff spent time last month with one of the top dynasties in not only football, but all of sports — the New England Patriots.
Mason had the opportunity to meet with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his staff during a June minicamp, and, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the trip changed the way Mason viewed building a football team.
“It’s all about the teaching,” Mason told Reiss. “It’s about being in the classroom and seeing how detailed, how relational these coaches are. But also how demanding they are.”
The Patriots are one of the best football teams to learn from. Last year, they won the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl, all of which have come under Belichick since 2001.
Mason said that he’s taking the knowledge and using it to adjust his coaching scheme entering this fall, his fourth with the Commodores.
“Taking the feedback from the guys, and knowing and understanding it’s about the players,” Mason said, per Reiss. “There are a lot of great coaches and schemes, but does it benefit your players? Does it put them in the best position to be successful? And do they see themselves getting better?”
Last season, Vandy had its best record in its first three years under Mason, going 6-7 and earning a berth in the Independence Bowl, its first bowl appearance under Mason.