Vanderbilt has hired Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lee as its next football coach


Vanderbilt has been looking for a replacement for Derek Mason for several weeks, and it has officially landed on one of its own. Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lay, a former Commodores fullback, has been named the new coach of his alma mater. Lee will be formally presented at a press conference next week.

“Clark Lee is the leader we trust to continue the challenging yet exciting work that will propel the Vanderbilt football program to unprecedented heights,” athletic director Candice Lee said in a statement Monday evening. “He demonstrates a commitment to success, integrity and strategic thinking that helps build a winning football program, and helps our student-athletes reach their full potential. He understands the important role that Athletics plays into a vibrant life. The university, and that outstanding scholarly pursuit and top-notch athletics are integral to the Vanderbilt experience. ”

“I’m excited to be back in Vanderbilt to lead a program, an institution and in a city that has given me so much and shaped who I am today.” “Vanderbilt is a special place with a competitive drive that I believe can translate into winning. My excitement for the role grew as I took time with Candice Lee and Chancellor Dirmier – it’s very clear that they Are united around a common vision for the future. Vanderbilt athletics programs and football. “

Athletic’s Pete Sampson reports that will take Finish the season With the Fighting Irish before moving on to his new job on a full-time basis.

Lee has been at Notre Dame since 2017, first as a linebacker coach and then as coach Brian Kelly’s defensive coordinator from 2018. The Fighting Irish are 14th in the nation in total defense (314.5 YPG), 12th in scoring defense (17.1 PPG) and third in third-down defense (26.36%) this season. This success is a big reason why Notre Dame finds itself entering the ACC Championship Game vs. Clemson this weekend.

During the 2018 Notre Dame College Football Playoff run, his defense gave him points per game (only 13.2 nationally).

38-year-old Lay, played fullback for Vanderbilt from 2002-04 under Bobby Johnson after playing baseball for two years to begin his college career.

He has made stops at UCLA (2006, 2009–11), South Dakota State (2007–08), Bowling Green (2012), Syracuse (2013–15) and Wake Forest (2016) before landing at Notre Dame.

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