Vanderbilt's Joey Lynch out as OC; Clark Lea to run defense

Vanderbilt will have new playcallers on both sides of the ball following a 2-10 season in which the team went winless in SEC play.

Offensive coordinator Joey Lynch is out, and head coach Clark Lea will take over defensive playcalls in 2024. Nick Howell, who had been the Commodores' defensive coordinator, will serve as co-defensive backs coach alongside Jamaal Richardson, a defensive quality control coach who has been promoted. Dan Jackson, the team's defensive backs coach the past two seasons, will shift to an off-field role.

Lea will immediately begin a national search for a new offensive coordinator.

Vanderbilt fell to 126th nationally in points allowed this season and allowed 39.6 points per game in conference play, nearly seven points worse than any other team.

"We had a season where our results and performance fell short of our expectations," Lea said in a statement on Wednesday. "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."

Lynch had been on Vanderbilt's staff since 2021 and oversaw an offense that ranks 100th nationally in points per game and 112th in yards per game. Only Mississippi State scored fewer points than the Commodores in league play this season.

Athletic director Candice Storey Lee told The Tennessean earlier this month that Lea has her "full support," but that changes were needed and an evaluation will continue in areas to be upgraded. In July, Vanderbilt announced it had extended Lea's contract, which ESPN reported would be through the 2029 season.

Lea, a Nashville native and former Vanderbilt fullback, is 9-27 in three years as the team's coach.