Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea fires offensive coordinator, will coordinate defense himself

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt coach Clark Lea has fired offensive coordinator Joey Lynch and will be his own defensive coordinator for his fourth season.

Lea announced the moves Wednesday night among a handful of changes to his coaching staff. Vanderbilt hired Lea to coach his alma mater in December 2020 from his job as defensive coordinator for Notre Dame. He helped the Fighting Irish reach the College Football Playoffs that season.

“We had a season where our results and performance fell short of our expectations,” Lea said in a statement. “When that is the case, change is necessary. My background as a defensive coordinator will allow me to best serve our team by taking on that responsibility.”

The Commodores just finished Lea’s third season at 2-10, including 0-8 inside the Southeastern Conference. Vanderbilt finished 100th nationally scoring 22.8 points a game and 112th out of 130 teams averaging 318.9 yards offense per game.

It didn’t help Lynch that Vanderbilt wound up starting two different quarterbacks and playing a third. Ken Seals, a graduate transfer, and sophomore AJ Swann already have announced plans to hit the transfer portal.

Lea demoted defensive coordinator Nick Howell to secondary coach, promoted Jamaal Richardson to assistant coach working with defensive backs. Dan Jackson will move from coaching defensive backs to an “off-field” role.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football