2 Familiar Names Mentioned Among Possible Vanderbilt Coaching Targets

By Jason Hall

November 30, 2020

Two very familiar names have already been mentioned in relation to Vanderbilt's coaching search amid news of head football coach Derek Mason's termination on Sunday (November 29.)

While nothing has been confirmed, former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher and former Vanderbilt and current Penn State coach James Franklin have already been mentioned as "initial names that Vanderbilt might consider," according to the Tennessean's Adam Sparks.

Sparks acknowledged that both candidates are longshots, but will likely receive attention on social media and sports talk radio, which could lead to consideration from Candice Lee, who will be making her first coaching hire since being promoted to athletics director in May.

Fisher was the head coach of the Titans from 1994-2010, joining the franchise prior to its move from Houston. The 62-year-old went 142-120 during 17 seasons with the Oilers/Titans, which included a Super Bowl appearance during the team's first season under the Titans moniker and at Nissan Stadium in 1999.

Fisher still resides in Nashville and hasn't coached since being fired by the Los Angeles Rams in 2016.

Franklin is currently working as the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, but is reported to be on the hot seat amid a disappointing season. The Nittany Lions earned their first victory of the 2020 season against Michigan on Saturday after losing all of their first five games.

Franklin has otherwise enjoyed a successful tenure in Happy Valley, entering the 2020 season with a 56-23 (34-18 Big Ten) record after leaving Vanderbilt during the 2014 offseason. The Commodores enjoyed their most successful run in program history during Franklin's three-year tenure, going 24-15 (11-13 SEC) and appearing in bowl games during each season from 2011-13.

Photo: Getty Images

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