Vanderbilt football hires a defensive coordinator

(Courtesy: Vanderbilt University)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the first time in four seasons, head coach Derek Mason will not be calling the defense at Vanderbilt.

Mason announced the hiring of four new coaches Thursday, including new defensive coordinator Jason Tarver. Mason called the defense in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but turns it over to a coach with 16 years of experience in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.

“Jason is as smart a football coach as I’ve had the chance to be around. We had a chance to work together at Stanford and had the chance to partner up and put together some pretty good defenses,” Mason said.

He added, “He makes complex football seem real easy. At this level, you have to get it to the [student-athletes] fast, quick and have them believe it. His presence from the NFL will translate to where we’re at here at Vanderbilt. He’s extremely bright. He’s charismatic. His energy is going to be infectious for this group.”

Also joining the staff are Shawn Mennenga, Aaron Moorehead and Terrence Brown.

Mennenga is the ‘Dores new special teams coordinator after spending the last seven years with the Cleveland Browns.

Moorehead takes over wide receivers for Mason. He had the same job at Texas A&M the last three years under Kevin Sumlin and boasted star receiver Christian Kirk.

Brown joins the Commodores’ staff as the team’s new cornerbacks coach after spending the last three seasons as a defensive graduate assistant for the Washington Huskies.

While with the Huskies, he helped transform the team’s defense into one of the Pac-12’s and nation’s best units.

“Terrence is someone who played at a high level for me at Stanford, he was on the teams that played in the 2010 Orange Bowl, 2011 Fiesta Bowl and 2012 Rose Bowl,” Mason said

The Commodores begin spring ball Feb. 26.