Vanderbilt hires Notre Dame assistant as next head coach
The Vanderbilt Commodores have found a new head football coach. Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea was officially announced as the school's choice to lead the program on Monday night. Lea is a former Vanderbilt player.
Lea entered coaching in 2006 as a graduate assistant at UCLA. From there he had stops at South Dakota State, back to UCLA, Bowling Green, Syracuse, Wake Forest, and finally Notre Dame--serving mostly as a linebackers coach. Lea arrived in South Bend as the Irish's linebacker coach in 2017 and was promoted to defensive coordinator when Mike Elko left for Texas A&M following that season.
Under Lea, the Irish defense has consistently been one of the best units in the nation-- ranking in the top 10 in most scoring and yardage metrics. He will have to recruit well to Vanderbilt, but that is the kind of football teams need to play in the SEC.
The 38-year-old will continue working with Notre Dame ahead of this weekend's ACC Championship game against No. 3 Clemson.
Lea replaces Derek Mason, who went 27-55 in six seasons with the Commodores.