Vanderbilt University released a statement tonight announcing that the University is working on a new contract for third-year head coach Derek Mason.

The release said that Mason has steadily improved the program in his three seasons. He started with a disastrous 2014 season, going 3-9 (0-8 SEC). The following season (2015) the team showed significant improvement defensively and finished 4-8 (2-6 SEC). Things looked bleak in the first half of the 2016 season with a sluggish 2-4 start and losses to South Carolina and Kentucky. However, the team regrouped with a "Junction City" approach by the coaching staff and finished the second half of the season 4-2 including wins over Ole Miss and Tennessee. Later Vandy fell in the Independence bowl but any coach that takes Vanderbilt to a bowl deserves to be retained. Here's the release from Vanderbilt:

Nashville, Tenn. – Vanderbilt is working on a new contract for football head coach Derek Mason.

The Commodores have shown steady improvement under Mason’s guidance with the team’s win total increasing in each of the past two seasons. In 2016, the Dores won six games and advanced to the Camping World Independence Bowl, the team’s first bowl under Mason. Vandy ended the regular season with back-to-back wins over Ole Miss and rival Tennessee at home to punch the team’s ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2013.

Mason and his staff will welcome the newest Commodores to the program on Wednesday during National Signing Day. Check and follow @VandyFootball for updates during the day.

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