Just days before its first game of the Clark Lea era against in-state Football Championship Subdivision program ETSU, Vanderbilt shook up its offensive staff hierarcy, multiple sources told FootballScoop in advance of the Commodores' opening game.
The Commodores are preparing to lean on passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Joey Lynch for greater input and a chief role in the offensive execution and organization.
Multiple sources last week confirmed the move to FootballScoop, with one coach familiar with the situation who said, "This was done weeks ago. I guess now it's official."
Though Lea, a Vanderbilt alum and former Broyles Award semifinalist as Notre Dame defensive coordinator, hired David Raih in late January to fill the 'Dores' top offensive spot, Lea also quickly hired away Lynch from Colorado State.
Lynch had spent his previous seven years as an offensive coordinator at the FBS level. A former Ball State quarterback, Lynch served six seasons as his alma mater's offensive coordinator – 2014-2019 – and served as Steve Addazio's offensive play-caller at Colorado State last fall in a season that featured just four games due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Lynch also has experience as a recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach at Ball State.
“They're going to go with the QBs coach basically as the offensive coordinator,” said a person with direct knowledge of the situation. “(Raih) can absolutely coach, but the fit is better with Lynch.”
Raih never has called plays at any level of coaching, spending the previous seven seasons in various NFL roles with first the Green Bay Packers and the past two years with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Commodores return as many as nine starters on the offensive side of the ball, including sophomore quarterback Ken Seals after Seals' 1,900-yard, 12-touchdown debut campaign during Vanderbilt's 0-9 2020 season.
But they were abysmal on offense in the opening loss to ETSU; Vanderbilt scored just three points, in the first quarter, and was held scoreless by the FCS Bucs for the game's final 49 minutes. Vandy also managed just 85 yards on the ground.