Vanderbilt will have no shortage of candidates interested in pursuing their coaching opening. As of right now, it has been reported that Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Clark Lea has interviewed for the job.
It has also been reported that Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell, Charlotte Coach Will Healy, and Army Coach Jeff Monken are a few others Vanderbilt plans to talk with about the opening. There has also been a report that former Rams and Titans coach Jeff Fisher has expressed interest in the opening as well.
But according to another report, former BattleHawks coach Jonathan Hayes has interviewed for the opening.
Coach Hayes’s background certainly warrants consideration for another head coaching opportunity. He spent 4 years under Bob Stoops in Oklahoma and worked in the Bengals organization as the tight ends coach from 2003-2018. Most recently, he lead the St. Louis BattleHawks in the shortened 2020 season.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that Hayes also had a lengthy playing career in the NFL playing with the Chiefs from 1985-1993 and with the Steelers from 1994-1996.
Once Vanderbilt let Derek Mason go, athletic director Candice Storey said they were looking for a coach that is more offensive minded, and has had head coaching experience. Hayes checks both of those boxes.
During his brief time with the BattleHawks, Hayes made a huge impression on that team, and in the community. It will be bittersweet if he isn’t around to lead the BattleHawks if/when they kick off in 2022, but like so many from the XFL, he deserves a chance to shine. Hopefully he will get that chance soon
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