Back in January, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Derek Mason stepped down from his position with the Cowboys, noting that he was “taking a sabbatical from coaching in college at the end of [his] current contract at OSU.”
Mason went on to say that he looked forward to “spending time with [his] family to rest and reflect on opportunities within the game [he] loves.”
Mason spent exactly one year at Oklahoma State after jumping ship from a trainwreck at Auburn under then-head coach Bryan Harsin. Prior to that, Mason spent seven seasons as the head coach at Vanderbilt.
Football coaches are a different breed though, and more often than not, stepping away from the game just makes them love it that much more.
Well, 11 months later, it appears that Mason has had enough time away from the sidelines, as he’s agreed to take the head coaching job at Middle Tennessee State.
“I am excited to be the 15th head coach at MTSU,” said Mason. “This is an emotional moment for me. This is the house that Rick Stockstill built and he left good bones and a strong foundation. He did a lot to raise and encourage these young men and help them take the journey. Now, that responsibility has been passed down to me. It’s about winning and making sure we can do everything we can to resource our student-athletes in a way to make them successful both on and off the field.
“It’s been an exhausting journey, but I appreciate Dr. McPhee and Chris Massaro for giving me this opportunity. Now we have to attack the challenge of Conference USA and I can’t wait to get started.”
Mason signed a five-year contract to lead the Blue Raiders and will replace Rick Stockstill, who served as the head coach at MTSU starting back in 2006. In his 18 seasons at the helm, Stockstill held a 113-111 overall record and an 82-58 record in conference play, including one conference title, one division title, and 10 bowl game appearances.