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Derek Mason

Derek Mason’s post-Vanderbilt coaching career lasted just two years.

The 53-year-old former Commodores head coach announced on Thursday that he was stepping away from the college game following his lone year as defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.

“After 30 consecutive seasons in the great game of football, I have decided to take a sabbatical from coaching in college at the conclusion of my current contract at OSU,” Mason tweeted. “I look forward to spending time with my family to rest and reflect on opportunities within the game I love.”

Under Mason’s guidance, the Oklahoma State defense regressed mightily from the previous year under Jim Knowles, allowing 167.2 more yards of total offense and 12.5 more points per game than in 2021. OSU had the third-best defense in the NCAA in 2021 but was ranked No. 115 this year.

The Cowboys’ sack numbers also dropped from 55 to 24, and the team allowed 11 more touchdown passes and 85 more passing yards per game under Mason, who joined OSU after one season as the defensive coordinator at Auburn. 

Mason left Auburn after reportedly butting heads with then-Tigers head coach Bryan Harsin regarding defensive philosophy and staffing.

Mason had a 27-55 record with a 10-46 record against SEC teams in seven seasons as Vanderbilt head coach. He was just the second head coach in Vanderbilt history to lead the ‘Dores to multiple bowl appearances (2016, 2018) and he guided VU to three straight wins over in-state rival Tennessee, the school’s first three-game win streak against the Vols in 89 years.

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_