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 currently coached by Derek Mason. Vanderbilt plays their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium, located on the university's Nashville, Tennessee campus.
|Vanderbilt Commodores football|
|Athletic director||Malcolm Turner|
|Head coach||Derek Mason|
4th season, 24–37 (.393)
|NCAA division||Division I|
|Past conferences||Independent (1890–1894)|
Southern Conference (1922–1932)
|All-time record||600–613–50 (.495)|
|Bowl record||4–4–1 (.500)|
|Unclaimed nat'l titles||2 (1921, 1922)|
|Conference titles||14 (0 SEC)|
Ole Miss (rivalry)
|Colors||Black and Gold|
|Marching band||Spirit of Gold Marching Band|
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 H. Henry, and Dan McGugin. McGugin is the leader in seasons coached and games won, with 198 victories during his thirty years at Vanderbilt. He was awarded two National Championships retroactively by Clyde Berryman.
Of the twenty-eight different head coaches who have led the Commodores, McGugin, Ray Morrison, Henry Russell Sanders, and Bill Edwards have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The current head coach is Derek Mason.
Vanderbilt has been affiliated with the following conferences.
Vanderbilt does not claim any national championships, but Berryman QPRS, a major selector in the NCAA Division I FBS Record Book, selected Vanderbilt as champion based on retroactive analysis of the national 1921 and 1922 seasons.
Vanderbilt has won thirteen 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 seven. 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.
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–present) has seen 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 utilizes 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||Halfback||1901–1903|
|Josh Cody||Tackle||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 unanminous 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|
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 Ole Miss||at Ole Miss|
|vs LSU||at Texas A&M||vs Mississippi State||at Alabama||vs Auburn||at LSU||vs Arkansas|
Announced schedules as of March 3, 2017
|vs Northern Illinois||at Kansas State||vs Houston||at Northern Illinois||at Wake Forest||at Stanford||vs Stanford||at Colorado State||at Stanford||at NC State||vs Purdue|
|vs Purdue||vs Mercer||vs Stanford||vs Wake Forest||vs Hawaii||at Georgia State||vs Georgia State||vs NC State|
|vs East Tennessee State||vs Colorado State||vs East Tennessee State||at Hawaii||at UNLV||vs Colorado State|
|vs. UNLV||at Colorado State|
The 1891 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1891 college football season. The team's head coach and team captain was Elliott H. Jones, who served his second season in that capacity. This was the first year that Vanderbilt had a schedule of opponents other than the school next door to them. Vanderbilt and Sewanee, charter members of the Southern Intercollegiate Conference,play their first game. The rivalry, typically reserved for Thanksgiving Day, continues into World War II. When the series ended in 1944, Vanderbilt owned a 40-8-4 advantage.1893 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1893 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1893 college football season. The team's head coach and team captain was W. J. Keller, who only coached one season in that capacity at Vanderbilt. The season started 2-1 and finished with a 4-game winning streak.1895 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1895 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1895 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA). The team's head coach was Charles L. Upton, who only coached one season in that capacity, at Vanderbilt for one year.1914 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1914 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1914 college football season. The 1914 season was Dan McGugin's 11th year as head coach. Members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Commodores played six home games in Nashville, Tennessee and finished the season with a record of 2–6 and 0–3 in conference play. Michigan reporters spread rumors that Josh Cody was put out of the game for slugging, though he just suffered an injury.1925 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1925 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1925 Southern Conference football season. The 1925 season was Dan McGugin's 21st year as head coach.1928 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1928 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1928 college football season. The 1928 season was Dan McGugin's 24th year as head coach.1929 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1929 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1929 college football season. The 1929 season was Dan McGugin's 25th year as head coach.1937 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1937 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1937 college football season. The Commodores were led by Ray Morrison, who served in the third season of his second stint, and fourth overall, as head coach. Vanderbilt went 7–2 with losses to Georgia Tech and Alabama. Members of the Southeastern Conference, the Commodores went 4–2 in conference play. They played their five home games at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee. A hidden ball trick helped Vanderbilt defeat LSU in its first-ever victory over a ranked opponent.1938 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1938 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1938 college football season. The Commodores were led by Ray Morrison, who served in the fourth season of his second stint, and fifth overall, as head coach. Member of the Southeastern Conference, Vanderbilt went 6–3 overall and 4–3 in conference play. The Commodores played their five home games at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee.1939 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1939 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1939 college football season. The Commodores were led by Ray Morrison, who served in the fifth season of his second stint, and sixth overall, as head coach. Members of the Southeastern Conference, Vanderbilt went 2–7–1 overall and 1–6 in conference play. The Commodores played their six home games at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee. On October 7, Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 13–21 for the 100th loss in the schools football program.1943 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1943 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1943 college football season.1946 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1946 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1946 college football season.1950 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1950 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1950 college football season. The team's head coach was Bill Edwards, who was in his second season as the Commodores' head coach.
Members of the Southeastern Conference, the Commodores played their six home games at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee.1952 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1952 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1952 college football season. The team's head coach was Bill Edwards, who was in his fourth and final year as the Commodores' head coach. Members of the Southeastern Conference, the Commodores played their home games at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1952, Vanderbilt went 3–5–2 overall with a conference record of 1–4–1.1953 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1953 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1953 college football season.1972 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1972 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1972 NCAA University Division football season. The Commodores were led by head coach Bill Pace in his sixth season and finished the season with a record of three wins and eight losses (3–8 overall, 0–6 in the SEC).1984 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1984 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season. The Commodores were led by head coach George MacIntyre in his sixth season and finished the season with a record of five wins and six losses (5–6 overall, 2–4 in the SEC). As of 2018, this season represents the last time Vanderbilt beat Alabama.1987 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1987 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1987 NCAA Division I-A football season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Commodores were led by head coach Watson Brown in his second season and finished with a record of four wins and seven losses (4–7 overall, 1–5 in the SEC).1998 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 1998 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1998 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team played their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee and finished the season with a record of two wins and nine losses (2–9, 1–7 in the SEC).2007 Vanderbilt Commodores football team
The 2007 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 2007 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team's head coach was Bobby Johnson, who served his sixth year as the Commodores' head coach. Members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Commodores played their home games at Vanderbilt Stadium at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2006, Vanderbilt went 5–7 with a record of 2–6 in the SEC.
Vanderbilt Commodores football
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
Located in Nashville, Tennessee
|Schools and colleges|
Southeastern Conference football
|Championships & awards|