Update, 11:39 a.m. ET: Add Broyles Award-winning defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to the list:
#Vanderbilt has expressed interest in Michigan State's Pat Narduzzi, per source. No interview currently scheduled.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) January 15, 2014
Vanderbilt is taking a hard look at coordinators at the college and NFL level for its vacant head coaching position. Current St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's name may cause the most visceral reaction among fans. He will reportedly interview for the position Wednesday, according to 247Sports.
Current and former Stanford coordinators Derek Mason and Pep Hamilton, respectively, are also reportedly up for the position. Mason has been a defensive coordinator for the Cardinal since 2011 and helped groom a unit that finished in the top 20 nationally in total defense the last two seasons. Hamilton was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts this past season, after spending two years in the same position at Stanford.
Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams is currently travelling to interview candidates, according to the Nashville Tennessean. Williams could not comment on specific candidates, though he did not deny reports that Mason is a candidate when pressed. Via the Tennessean:
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"I'm not saying (Mason) won't be on the list or won't be interviewed," Williams said. "We're trying to go through the list, trying to look at people who we think we would be good and trying to gauge the interest they have."
Hamilton's legitimacy as candidate comes from ESPN's Adam Schefter, who reported Wednesday morning that multiple sources have said that Vanderbilt is interested in Andrew Luck's college mentor. Hamilton was also the quarterbacks coach at Stanford during Luck's final season with the Cardinal.
Williams has said he is looking for a candidate who "fits" the Vanderbilt mold. Mason and Hamilton qualify, coming from an academics-minded institution.
Schottenheimer's case is more curious. He has spent just two years coaching at the college level, as the wide receivers coach at Syracuse in 1999 and the tight ends coach at USC in 2000. Schottenheimer joined the NFL ranks in 2001, and quickly climbed the ladder. He was the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets from 2006 to 2011 before leaving the post to join the Rams in the same role.
Vanderbilt may struggle to find a candidate with familiarity with the program. Last season's defensive coordinator Bob Shoop was considered for promotion, but he has decided to join James Franklin's staff at Penn State. Mark Hudspeth, the current head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, has also been a popular name on the coaching carousel, but he has not been involved in Vanderbilt's search, according to Jeremy Fowler of CBS.
There is no word yet on Herb Hand, Vanderbilt's current offensive line coach and something of a folk hero. His cooking prowess and Twitter affinity have been well-documented by SB Nation. Indications are that he would be popular among Vanderbilt faithful, as well.
Head over to Commodores blog Anchor of Gold for their extensive breakdown of Hand and other potential candidates.
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