Vanderbilt place kicker Sarah Fuller warms up before the start of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Vanderbilt makes history with Sarah Fuller then fires HC Derek Mason

The Vanderbilt football team made history in Saturday’s game against Missouri with kicker Sarah Fuller. Head coach Derek Mason was fired the following day after the Commodores recorded their eighth straight loss.

Making History

Vanderbilt’s Sarah Fuller, right, kicks off as Ryan McCord (27) holds to start the second half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. With the kick, Fuller became the first female to play in a Southeastern Conference football game. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

On Saturday, Fuller became the first female to play in a Power 5 football game. Fuller is the senior goalkeeper on Vanderbilt’s SEC championship soccer team. Fuller entered the game for the second half kickoff. She delivered a squib kick with Vanderbilt down 24.

Vanderbilt went on the lose the game 41-0, but Fuller said, “Honestly, it’s just so exciting.” Fuller spoke about inspiring girls in sports.

Fuller also said that she wasn’t nervous when entering the game. “The SEC [soccer] championship was more stressful if I’m gonna be honest.”

Fuller wants to remain on the team

After making history, she plans to stay a part of the team, Fuller said on a zoom call on Sunday. Fuller said, “I’m sticking around until someone tells me to go.”

Fuller did more than just kick for Vanderbilt in the game against Missouri. She also delivered a halftime speech to the team pumping them up for the second half. Fuller noticed how quiet everyone was on the sideline and contrasted it to her soccer team in the SEC Championship.

Vanderbilt fires head coach Derek Mason

Starting the 2020 season 0-8, Vanderbilt is looking down the barrel of their first winless season in history. In the 117 years of the program, Vanderbilt has always won a game in a given season.

Mason had a 27-55 record and was the sixth winningest coach in program history during his six seasons as Vanderbilt’s coach. Mason, 51, is only the second coach to lead Vanderbilt to two bowl games.

In a statement on Twitter, Mason wrote, “It has truly been my honor to have been given the opportunity to teach, mentor, champion and coach hundreds of Vanderbilt young men and one courageous female.”

As a result of the firing, offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will serve as interim coach. Vanderbilt will begin a coach search immediately. The Commodores next play Georgia on Saturday.

About Jensen Young

Jensen Young is a journalism student at the University of Florida. He works as a sports writer for and is the voice of trendings on Wednesday mornings on the WRUF radio station.

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