NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Despite a 2-8 record and one win in the Southeastern Conference, Malcolm Turner made his intentions to keep head coach Derek Mason clear.

Turner, the first-year Vanderbilt Athletic Director gave his seal of approval in a statement Tuesday.

“I want to make it very clear that Derek Mason will be our head football coach moving forward. Coach Mason has my full support and I am committed to working with him to ensure our football program has the necessary resources and support to succeed. We are in the midst of developing a new and robust athletic strategic plan with the vision to put the football program and all of our varsity sports in a position to win on and off the field of play. Coach Mason is committed to leading Vanderbilt’s football program the right way and we will move forward in that spirit together.”

Mason has been under fire for his comments made after suffering Vanderbilt’s most lopsided loss to Kentucky since 2001.

“Vanderbilt’s always going to go in waves. It just is. There’s going to be cycles of bowl teams and opportunities. It’s not going to be an every-year opportunity, unless, unless these guys get it young and we hit it hot,” said Mason.

He further explained where this current 2019 Vanderbilt team sits in his hypothetical wave.

“I’m just in a wave right now. I’m just in a wave and cycle where we’re not where we want to be, but we just got to continue to keep pushing,” he said.

Mason has been highly criticized for these statements as it is seemingly making excuses for why the team is where it is this season. It also comes across as contradictory considering a few weeks ago after a big upset win over Mizzou, Mason highly criticized the media for doubting him and his squad.

Despite the down season and controversial comments, Mason is the head coach of the Commodores, “moving forward.”

“To hear to publicly, have a statement go out about where I sit right now in terms of our season and what we’re doing, it’s a strong statement of support, and I thank him,” said Mason in his Tuesday press conference. “I definitely appreciate the support of Malcolm Turner and this university. When you look at where we are, that’s not where we want to be.”