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Oklahoma State Football

He Won't Coach Against OSU, but Klein to A&M as OC and Mason Now HC at MTSU

December 6, 2023

STILLWATER – Two coaching notes on this Wednesday. Oklahoma State won’t see him in the Tax Act Texas Bowl, but the former Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback and offensive coordinator at his alma mater will join new Aggies coach Mike Elko as his offensive coordinator. 

Robert Allen - Pokes Report
Mason pictured with now pass game defensive coordinator Tim Duffie.

Derek Mason, the former Oklahoma State defensive coordinator from the 2022 season and a former head coach at Vanderbilt is back as a head coach taking over for the fired Rick Stockstill at the new head coach of the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. 

"We are ecstatic to welcome Coach Derek Mason to Middle Tennessee and the Blue Raider football program," MTSU Director of Athletics Chris Massaro said. "With his experience as a head coach, his reputation for coaching fast, aggressive defenses, his strong reputation as a recruiter, and deep connections in college football to formulate an outstanding staff, Coach Mason's vision for MTSU football fits exactly what we were looking for during our interview process. Coach Mason is no stranger to the mid-state community and we expect his connections to allow him and his staff to hit the ground running as our 15th head football coach."

Mason, who spent the 2023 season working as an analyst for the SEC Network, has 29 years of collegiate coaching experience including seven years as a head coach. He most recently coached in 2022 at Oklahoma State as the defensive coordinator and helped the Cowboys to a spot in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

Mason did a good job as head coach at Vanderbilt.

Prior to his stint at Oklahoma State, Mason served as the defensive coordinator at Auburn for the 2021 season. The Mason-led Tigers improved by 14.5% in third down defense from 2020 to move up 84 places in the final FBS rankings. Auburn also improved from the previous season in tackles for loss by 1.4 per game (up 65 places), rushing defense by 35 yards per game (up 33 places), first downs allowed by three per game (up 32 places), fourth down defense by 10% (up 21 places), sacks by .33 per game (up 13 places), scoring defense by three points per game (up 11 places) and total defense by 32 yards per game (up two places).

"I am excited to be the 15th head coach at MTSU," said Mason. "This is an emotional moment for me. This is the house that Rick Stockstill built and he left good bones and a strong foundation. He did a lot to raise and encourage these young men and help them take the journey. Now, that responsibility has been passed down to me. It's about winning and making sure we can do everything we can to resource our student athletes in a way to make them successful both on and off the field.

Klein was offered the offensive coordinator job at Notre Dame last season and turned it down. Earlier this year it was rumored he was a candidate for the Penn State offensive coordinator position that eventually went to Kansas offensive boss Andy Koltelnicki. Now, it appears that Texas A&M is going to make Klein one of the highest paid coordinators in all of college football. 

Klein as quarterback for the Wildcats.

Klein has earned his spurs with a strong resume’ that started as a player at Kansas State where he was a quarterback for Bill Snyder that earned Heisman Trophy finalist status and was All-Big 12 for the Wildcats.

He started in coaching as a receivers coach but then moved to quarterbacks and offensive coordinator. In 2022, they averaged 32.3 points and 418.8 yards per game on their way to 10 wins and a Big 12 championship. This season, K-State was even better as they were second in the Big 12 in scoring (37.8 points per game). K-State was one of the most balanced teams in the conference, averaging 246 passing yards and 199 rushing yards per game. The Wildcats ranked 15th nationally in rushing average.

Outstanding reporter Tim Fitzgerald of was the person that broke the news on Collin Klein. 


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He Won't Coach Against OSU, but Klein to A&M as OC and Mason Now HC at MTSU

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