|Vanderbilt Commodores football|
|Athletic director||Candice Storey Lee|
|Head coach||Clark Lea |
1st season, 1-3 (.250)
|NCAA division||Division I|
|Past conferences||Independent (1890-1894)|
Southern Conference (1922-1932)
|Bowl record||4–4–1 (.500)|
|Unclaimed national titles||2 (1921, 1922)|
|Conference titles||14 (0 SEC)|
Ole Miss (rivalry)
Georgia Tech (rivalry)
|Colors||Black and gold|
|Marching band||Spirit of Gold Marching Band|
The Vanderbilt Commodores football program represents Vanderbilt University in the sport of American football. The Commodores compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the East Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They are led by head coach Clark Lea. Vanderbilt plays their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium, located on the university's Nashville, Tennessee campus.
Vanderbilt has a winning percentage of .492, the lowest among all members in the Southeastern Conference.
Adopting the nickname the Commodores after the 1897 season, the team has played in 1,250 games over 126 seasons. In that time, six coaches have led the Commodores to a postseason bowl appearance: Art Guepe, Steve Sloan, George MacIntyre, Bobby Johnson, James Franklin and Derek Mason. Four have led them to a conference championship: R. G. Acton, W. H. Watkins, James R. Henry, and Dan McGugin. McGugin is the leader in seasons coached and games won, with 198 victories during his 30 years at Vanderbilt. He was awarded two National Championships retroactively by Clyde Berryman.
The head coach is Clark Lea, who was hired on December 14, 2020.
Vanderbilt has won 13 conference championships, with five shared and eight won outright.
|Season||Conference||Coach||Overall record||Conference record|
|1897||SIAA||R. G. Acton||6-0-1||3-0-1|
|1901||W. H. Watkins||6-1-1||6-0-1|
Vanderbilt has been invited to nine bowl games, with the Commodores garnering a record of 4-4-1 in bowl games.
|1955||Art Guepe||Gator Bowl||Auburn||W 25-13|
|1974||Steve Sloan||Peach Bowl||Texas Tech||T 6-6|
|1982||George MacIntyre||Hall of Fame Classic||Air Force||L 28-36|
|2008||Bobby Johnson||Music City Bowl||Boston College||W 16-14|
|2011||James Franklin||Liberty Bowl||Cincinnati||L 24-31|
|2012||Music City Bowl||NC State||W 38-24|
|2013||BBVA Compass Bowl||Houston||W 41-24|
|2016||Derek Mason||Independence Bowl||NC State||L 17-41|
|2018||Texas Bowl||Baylor||L 38-45|
Vanderbilt and Tennessee have played 112 times since 1892 , Tennessee leads the series 75-32-5. When the rivalry first started Vanderbilt dominated by taking 19 of the first 24 with 3 ties. From 1928 to 2011, Tennessee went 71-9-2 against Vanderbilt. But since 2012, Vanderbilt has won five of the last nine. The largest margin of victory for Vanderbilt was by 76 points in 1918 at Old Dudley Field in Nashville. (Vanderbilt 76, Tennessee 0) The largest defeat was 65 points in 1994 at Vanderbilt Stadium (Tennessee 65, Vanderbilt 0). The longest win streaks for Vanderbilt is (9) from 1901 to 1913. The longest win streak for Tennessee is 22, from 1983 to 2004.
Having started in 1893, the Georgia-Vanderbilt football series has been played annually since 1968. The two are divisional opponents in the SEC East. The series, which rotates between Nashville, Tennessee, and Athens, Georgia, stands with Georgia leading 57-20-2 through the 2020 season.
Ole Miss is Vanderbilt's cross-divisional rival in the SEC.
Vanderbilt and Ole Miss have played 92 times since 1894. Ole Miss leads the series 51-39-2. The largest margin of victory was by 91 points won by Vanderbilt in 1915. Vanderbilt also holds the longest win streaks in the series (18) from 1894 to 1938.
Having started in 1896, the Kentucky-Vanderbilt football series has been played annually since 1953. The two are divisional opponents in the SEC East. The series, which rotates between Nashville, Tennessee and Lexington, Kentucky, is led by Kentucky at 44-42-4 with the average score being Vanderbilt 16.9-Kentucky 15.6.
Vanderbilt and the Sewanee Tigers were both founding members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA), the Southern Conference, and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). It is the oldest of Vanderbilt's rivalries; dating back to 1891 when Vanderbilt played its second football game. Vanderbilt leads the series 40-8-4. The largest margin of victory was in 1905 when Vanderbilt won 68-4. Usually played towards the end of the season on Thanksgiving Day, the two teams have not met again since 1944 and are unlikely to anytime soon as Sewanee plays in NCAA Division III.
Traditionally, Vanderbilt has featured differing designs of gold helmets, black jerseys, and gold or black pants at home, and gold helmets, white jerseys and gold, or white pants on the road. Meanwhile, the traditional alternate uniform saw gold helmets and jerseys matched with white pants.
During the James Franklin-era (2011-2013), "blackout" (i.e. all black) alternate uniforms featuring new black helmets, and "whiteout" (i.e. all white) alternate uniforms featuring new white helmets, were unveiled. The team's gold alternate jerseys were also re-designed with the addition of black shoulders and a more muted gold color.
Derek Mason's tenure (2014-2020) saw the team adopt a primary home uniform of black matte helmets, black jerseys and black pants, and a primary road uniform of black matte helmets, white jerseys and black pants. Additionally, the team utilized several alternate combinations including among others a black matte helmet, gold jersey and gold pant set, "traditional" looks featuring gold helmets, and an updated version of the "whiteout" alternate from the Franklin-era.
|John J. Tigert||HB||1901-1903|
|Josh Cody||T||1914-1916, 1919|
|Dan McGugin||1904-1917, 1919-1934|
|Ray Morrison||1918, 1935-1939|
|Red Sanders||1940-1942, 1946-1948|
|Bill Spears||1926, 1927||QB|
|Gil Reese||1923, 1924||Back|
|Henry Wakefield||1923, 1924||End|
|Lynn Bomar||1922, 1923||End|
|Josh Cody||1914, 1915, 1919||T|
|W. E. Metzger||1910||G|
Vanderilt has had seven consensus All-Americans in their history. In 2016, Zach Cunningham became the first unanimous All-American in Vanderbilt's history.
|1893-1894||W. J. Keller|
|1899||Walter H. Simmons|
|1900||John F. H. Barbee|
|1902||H. W. Davis|
|1909||H. H. Williams|
|1917||Alfred T. Adams|
|1920||Johnny "Red" Floyd|
|1932||Chosen by game|
|1933||Chosen By Game|
|1935||Charles W. Geny|
|1938||Marvin. A. Franklin|
|1943||James & Bob Hamilton|
|1944||Lee Austin & Dick Bostick|
|1945||Dick Bostick & James Hamilton|
|1947||John North & Tex Robertson|
|1952||John Cheadle & Don Wade|
|1954||Pete Williams & John Hall|
|1955||Larry Frank & Jim Cunningham|
|1956||Don Orr & Art Demmas|
|1957||Bob Laws & Phil King|
|1959||No permanent captain|
|1961||Cody Brinkley & Ed Creagh|
|1962||Jule Crocker & Mike Reese|
|1964||Dave Malone, Bill Juday, & Wilford Fuqua|
|1966||Dave Maddux & Jim Thomas|
|1967||Bob Goodridge & Sid Ransom|
|1968||Mike Giltner & Rex Raines|
|1969||Bob Asher & Bill McDonald|
|1970||Steve Fritz, Mal Wall, & John Robinson|
|1971||John Carney & John Drake|
|1972||Jim Avery, Joe Cook, & Ken Stone|
|1973||Mark Ilgenfritz & Bo Patton|
|1975||Lonnie Sadler & Tom Galbierz|
|1976||Tom Ballman & David Hale|
|1977||Ed Parrish, Mike Birdsong, Reggie Calvin, & Mitch Lilly|
|1978||Randy Sittason & John Wooten|
|1979||Mike Ralston, Preston Brown, & Ronnie Myrick|
|1980||Phil Swindoll, Keith Phillips, & Rodney Gurley|
|1981||Rodney Gurley, Ken Hammond, & Andrew Coleman|
|1982||Whit Taylor, Allama Matthews, & Joe Staley|
|1983||Tom Moore, Steve Bearden, & Phil Roach|
|1984||Rob Monaco, Steve McCoy, Chuck Scott, & Manuel Young|
|1985||Steve Wade, Kermit Sykes, & Will Wolford|
|1986||Thanh Anderson, Mark Wracher, Mark Woehler, & Carl Woods|
|1987||Chris Gaines, Everett Crawford, Daryl Holt, & Carl Parker|
|1988||Eric Jones, Brent Turner, Joe Gentry, & Mike Johnson|
|1989||John Gromos, DeMond Winston, Andy McCarroll, & Greg Smith|
|1990||No permanent captains.|
|1991||Bobby Craycraft & Rod Keith|
|1992||Marcus Wilson & Marcus Young|
|1993||Gerald Collins, Tony Jackson, & Eric Dahlberg|
|1994||Gerald Collins & Eric Lewis|
|1995||No permanent captains.|
|1996||No permanent captains.|
|1997||Jamie Duncan, Corey Chavous, Jay Stallworth, Damian Allen, & John Bradley|
|1998||Rahim Batten, Clay Condrey, Jared McGrath, & Fred Vinson|
|1999||Jeff Barnett, Ainsley Battles, Lamont Turner, & Todd Yoder|
|2000||Ryan Aulds, Elliott Carson, John Markham; & Matt Stewart|
|2001||Jamie Byrum, Antuian Bradford, Nate Morrow, & Dan Stricker|
|2002||Jamie Byrum, Rushen Jones, & Dan Stricker|
|2003||Jay Cutler, Justin Geisinger, & Jovan Haye|
|2004||Jay Cutler, Justin Geisinger, Jovan Haye, & Chris Young|
|2005||Jay Cutler & Moses Osemwegie|
|2006||Brian Stamper & Jonathan Goff|
|2007||Jonathan Goff, Chris Williams, & Theo Horrocks|
|2008||Reshard Langford, Bradley Vierling, & George Smith|
|2009||Patrick Benoist, Ryan Hamilton, & Bradley Vierling|
|2010||Joey Bailey, T. J. Greenstone, Adam Smotherman, & Chris Marve|
|2011||Kyle Fischer, Casey Hayward, Chris Marve, Larry Smith, & Carey Spear|
|2012||Jordan Rodgers, Walker May, Archibald Barnes, Zac Stacy, Johnell Thomas, Javon Marshall, Wesley Johnson, & Carey Spear|
|2013||Austyn Carta-Samuels, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Matthews, Walker May, Chase Garnham, Andre Hal, Javon Marshall, Carey Spear, & Andrew East|
|2014||Andrew East, Joe Townsend, and Kyle Woestmann|
|2015||Darreon Herring, Spencer Pulley, and Ryan White|
|2016||Ryan White and Ralph Webb|
Vanderbilt Commodores personnel, including coaches and players, have received recognition from the Southeastern Conference for their performances on the football field.
Five Vanderbilt players have been awarded Most Valuable Player, with three of them being awarded over a six year span to Commodores.
One Vanderbilt player has won Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Two players have won Freshman of the Year while at Vanderbilt.
One Commodore has won Best Blocker, doing so twice.
|Jack Jenkins||1941, 1942|
Five Vanderbilt coaches have won Coach of the Year honors over the past century.
Vanderbilt plays Ole Miss as a permanent non-division opponent annually and rotates around the West division among the other six schools.
|at Ole Miss||vs Ole Miss||at Ole Miss||vs Ole Miss||at Ole Miss|
|vs Mississippi State||at Alabama||vs Auburn||at LSU||vs Arkansas|
Announced schedules as of April 26, 2020
|East Tennessee State||at Hawaii||Hawaii||vs. Virginia Tech1||at Virginia Tech||Austin Peay||Eastern Kentucky||SMU||Purdue||at Stanford||Stanford|
|at Colorado State||Elon||Charleston Southern||Norfolk State||Georgia State||NC State||at Stanford||at NC State||at SMU|
|Stanford||Wake Forest||at Wake Forest||SMU||Colorado State||at Colorado State|
|UConn||at Northern Illinois||at UNLV||at Georgia State|