Very few Auburn football staffers from the Bryan Harsin era are still on the Plains. Some guys, like Zac Etheridge, Cadillac Williams, and Trovon Reed still play vital roles on the Tigers’ coaching staff, but others were let go, not retained by new head coach Hugh Freeze, or left on their own accord.
One of the more notable coaches to part ways with Harsin and the Plains was defensive coordinator Derek Mason. He was hired by Harsin while putting together his coaching staff for the 2021 season, but spent only one year in his role before leaving. During his time not he Plains, the Tigers’ defense ranked 27th in scoring defense and 21st in rushing yards per attempt.
Mason’s departure made headlines during the last offseason after it became clear that the former Auburn football defensive coordinator was taking a significant pay cut to take on the same role at Oklahoma State for the 2022 season.
Now, Mason has announced that he will be taking his talents to the broadcast booth and joining Dave Neal and Taylor Davis on the SEC Network this fall, marking his return to college football’s most elite conference:
Prior to his one-year stints at both Auburn and Oklahoma State, Mason was the head coach at Vanderbilt from 2014-2020, leading the team to 6-7 seasons resulting in two bowl games but failing to achieve a winning season in Nashville. Mason’s coaching career began back in 1994, and other coaching stops include Stanford, Ohio, New Mexico State, and a short time in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.