Building the Masonic Tradition

Building the Masonic Tradition is a Vanderbilt Football blog written by VandyRadio sports host Joshua LeBorious, new for the 2015 season. Joshua unwaveringly covers the Commodores for VandyRadio keeping a steady watch on the Vanderbilt football front. Check in throughout the season for a realistic breakdown of all the stats and updates, as we cover the start of a Masonic tradition.


On March 10th Derek Mason announced the addition of Al Smith to the Commodore’s coaching staff as the Director of Player Development. Now I am guessing most of you reading this blog about football during the middle of the off-season have heard about this already, you are obviously keeping up with Vandy Football. I am also willing to guess that the news was dismissed by most of you who, like me, don’t know and don’t care about most of the front office positions. That is why I’m here though, to breakdown the scraps of news you see elsewhere and relate them to us as fans.

At it’s core, the Director of Player Development is there to make sure players are connecting well outside of football. It is his job to make sure that players get connected to the programs on campus that they need. You may ask why this should be relevant to you at all. Here’s why, if players are not getting the academic support they need – they can’t play football anymore. If someone isn’t crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on all of the paperwork – they can’t play football anymore. If any of the other multitude of integrations student-athlete’s have with campus life go wrong – they can’t play football anymore, at least not effectively. That is why the basic job of the Director of Player Development is so fundamentally vital to a a football program. Side note, the players are people too, so all of the factors mentioned above ought to concern you even without it having a direct impact on their playing abilities.

The relevance to fans doesn’t stop there however. The Director of Player Development is also a primary contact between college players and professional football. This is one of the reasons people should be getting excited about Al Smith, he has all sorts of connections in the professional football world to support our Dores’ futures. Why is this relevant you ask? It is relevant because if a team has several successful professional players making headlines, RECRUITS WILL WANT TO GO TO THE SCHOOL AND IMPROVE THEIR CHANCES OF GOING PRO. This brings me to my final point, the Director of Player Development is also in charge of assessing possible recruits and then recruiting the ones that are helpful to the team. Smith has had experience doing this for NFL teams, so he knows what to look for. This may not be seen this year, but down the road our prospects will improve because Smith will know who to target.

I hope that helped explain the Director of Player Development a little more for you, and also connected it to you as a fan. Keep checking for a recap and breakdown of the Black and Gold Game and listen in on the VandyRadio app for post game analysis of the spring exhibition game!


Check out VandyRadio’s comprehensive Vanderbilt sports blog series. Building the Masonic Tradition covers Commodore football, The Black & Gold Standard covers VU hoops, and Eyes of the Hawk covers Vandy baseball. is your home for year-round coverage of your favorite Vanderbilt teams. ©Joshua LeBorious 2015