Auburn has its new defensive coordinator in Derek Mason.
“Derek Mason is one of the best defensive minds in college football and his track record speaks for itself,” Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin said in a release. “I’ve always admired his ability to prepare his defenses and his approach with players on and off the field is outstanding. Having experience as a head coach in the Southeastern Conference is invaluable and he will bring a lot to our program. We’re fired up to have Coach Mason join the Auburn family.”
Mason arrives at Auburn after a seven-year stint at Vanderbilt, where the Commodores went 27-55 and 10-46 in SEC play.
He was relieved of his duties as head coach at Vanderbilt on Nov. 29, 2020.
“Auburn University is a special place with special people, and I’ve witnessed this in my time in the SEC,” Mason said. “I admire the school, the facilities, the traditions and the uniqueness of the community. Auburn has everything! Auburn embraces all that I believe in and I’m very appreciative of Coach Harsin, Director of Athletics Allen Greene, and the University Administration for this opportunity. I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Harsin and I’m excited to hit the ground running.”
Where Mason made his bread and butter, though, was his time served at Stanford.
In 2010, Mason was hired as the defensive backs coach for Jim Harbaugh’s staff. When David Shaw arrived in 2011, Mason was promoted to associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator.
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When Mason took over as the lone defensive coordinator in 2012, he was a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant.
Overall, Mason has coached for 27 years, including time in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.
Mason played cornerback at Northern Arizona from 1989-1992 before moving onto the coaching world.
Derek and his wife, LeighAnne, have two daughters, Makenzie and Sydney.
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