Auburn is reportedly hiring a recently-fired SEC coach to serve as the team’s new defensive coordinator.
The Auburn Tigers will be entering a new era in 2021 now that Bryan Harsin has taken over for Gus Malzahn.
He is now in the process of building his staff and FootballScoop.com is reporting the Tigers are close to hiring Derek Mason as the team’s new defensive coordinator.
Mason staying in the SEC
The report explains how the hire is expected to be made official this week.
Mason was the head coach at Vanderbilt from 2014-2020 and struggled to find any success. His team went to two bowl games, losing both, and never had a winning season during Mason’s tenure. The Commodores were 0-8 this season when Mason got fired.
He now returns to an assistant role, which is how he built up his status in the first place. Before taking the job at Vanderbilt, Mason was the defensive coordinator at Stanford.
The Tigers are getting a fresh start as they look to return to the top of the SEC. The team’s best season under Malzahn came back in 2013, which was his first season in charge. After that there was a steady decline into mediocrity that resulted in his firing.
Mason’s reputation clearly wasn’t hurt after such a rough tenure at Vanderbilt. The program itself may be more of an issue with all the competition it faces in recruiting within the SEC alone. Now he is getting back to what got him a head coaching job in the first place.
The Auburn defense wasn’t terrible in 2020, allowing an average of 23.7 points per game. But a new head coach means changes and Mason will look to turn the Auburn defense back into an elite one.