San Jose State defensive coordinator Kenwick Thompson is leaving the Spartans to join Derek Mason at Vanderbilt, according to sources and also reported by FootballScoop.com.

There's no word yet on who will replace Thompson. San Jose State hasn't confirmed his departure nor has Vanderbilt confirmed the hire.

Thompson was the Spartans' defensive coordinator last year when they allowed 459.3 yards per game, ranking 103rd in the nation. According to FootballScoop.com, Thompson's title at Vanderbilt hasn't been determined but he will be coaching the outside linebackers under Mason, the former Stanford defensive coordinator.

Thompson spent six years on Jeff Tedford's staff at Cal before coming to San Jose State for a second stint. With the Golden Bears, Thompson served as a linebackers coach, recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach.

During his first stretch with the Spartans, in which he coached under both Fitz Hill and Dick Tomey from 2001-06, Thompson held a variety of positions such as strength and conditioning coach, recruiting coordinator and coaching the linebackers, defensive tackles, defensive line and special teams.

SJSU transitioned to a 3-4 defense this season under Thompson and struggled most of the year. Much of that was related to inexperienced players on a defense thin on returning starters, but it was a particularly frustrating fall for a team that ranked in the top 25 defensively the year before.


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The Spartans had only 18 sacks in 2013 -- just 1.5 per game -- after notching 42 sacks in 2012 and tying for sixth in the country at 3.2 per game.

Follow Jimmy Durkin on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jimmy_Durkin.