NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It might have been nearly a dozen seasons ago, but Karl Dorrell has a good feel for what new Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason is going through.
After working his way through the coaching ranks, Dorrell had just landed his first head coaching job in 2003 at UCLA, his alma mater. He led the Bruins to bowl games in each of his five seasons at the helm. Much like Dorrell, Mason spent nearly two decades building a coaching resume, including most recently as Stanford's defensive coordinator, before being announced as Vanderbilt's new head coach on Jan. 18.
"Like Derek is going through his first head coaching opportunity this year with Vanderbilt, there is a lot to learn," said Dorrell, who Mason hired as his offensive coordinator, "and it will be a fast-paced way of learning it. I'm excited for him that he's in this opportunity for himself."
Dorrell and Mason first crossed paths during the 1990-91 seasons at Northern Arizona whe...