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Report: Vanderbilt Search Down To Two Names; (Update) Mason Hired

Search button 2Are Stanford’s Derek Mason and Clemson’s Chad Morris the two finalists for the head coaching job at Vanderbilt?  A report out Thursday by 24/7 sports indicated that Morris, Clemson’s offensive coordinator, was “gaining significant traction” and indicated that Mason, Stanford’s defensive coordinator, “was the name to beat.” The National Football Post agrees with the Mason assessment, calling him the “top choice” to replace Franklin. Other reports back Mason as the favorite – see here and herealso here.

Sentiment is not as uniform on Morris’ chances to land the job.   “After talking with a source in Nashville this morning, we don’t believe Morris is going anywhere,” says the Clemson Rivals site.

Meanwhile, in Nashville, Vanderbilt A.D. David Williams says the search is not over.  When will it be done? “I hope soon, but until we find a coach we still have some things we have to do and people to talk to.” In addition to Morris and Mason, other names linked to the search include St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and  Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.  Both Hamilton and Mason reportedly interviewed on Thursday. Bruce Feldman says Hamilton has taken his name out of consideration.

The man the new coach will be replacing has reportedly taken several of his assistants with him to Penn State.  Six of James Franklin’s assistants still on the payroll at Vanderbilt resigned Thursday morning, according to The Tennessean.  

Update: 24/7 Sports says Mason will be named the coach but “no details on when it will be announced.”  Citing sources, Bruce Feldman says job was offered to Pep Hamilton but he decided to stay with the Colts.

Update II: Vanderbilt has hired Mason.

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