Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Clark Lea is expected to accept the head coaching job at Vanderbilt University. He has reportedly already informed his players that he will remain with the Fighting Irish until the conclusion of the season, before he takes control of the Commodores.
Lea is no stranger to Nashville, as he is a Nashville native. He attended Montgomery Bell Academy, played Baseball at Belmont, then finished his college career as a Fullback at Vanderbilt, graduating in 2004, and completing graduate school in 2007 with a degree in political science.
The 38-year old Lea started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UCLA in 2006, and has also coached at South Dakota State, Bowling Green, Syracuse, and Wake Forest before joining Brian Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame in 2017. He became the defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish in 2018 after spending a year as their linebackers coach. Lea is widely regarded as one of the hottest defensive coordinators in the country right now, as his defensive prowess has helped lead Notre Dame secure a 10-0 record so far into the 2020 season.
Lea is also a candidate for the Broyles Award, which is given to the best assistant coach in College Football. Vanderbilt fans are hoping Lea can help improve this Vanderbilt defense, one that struggled mightily this season.
This news comes a little over two weeks after Derek Mason was relieved of his duties as the Commodores’ Head Coach, after six seasons with the team.
No official announcements have been made from either side, but one is expected as soon as today from Candice Lee. As of right now however, Vanderbilt fans finally have closure, and can look forward to a new era of Vanderbilt Football.