Isphording and Johnson join staff; Rodgers promoted
Derek Mason is in his third season as the Bobcats' receivers coach and his 10th season of coaching the position at the collegiate level.
Mason has helped Scott Mayle reach the upper echelon of the Ohio record book. Mayle caught 52 passes in his last two seasons to move into fourth place in the Ohio record book with 107 for his career. Mayle also finished ranked second all-time with 1,847 receiving yards and third in Ohio history with 11 touchdown catches. Four Bobcat receivers caught at least 15 passes in 2006, and the unit accounted for 13 of Ohio's 19 passing plays of 20 yards or longer. Mason's receivers were also active in the running game with three runs of at least 40 yards. The receiving corps' downfield blocking played a key role in the Bobcats breaking off 18 running plays of at least 20 yards.
Mason also assists with the Bobcats' kickoff return unit that was fifth in the MAC in 2006 with a 20.7 average. Kick returner Chris Garrett, also under Mason's watchful eye as a wide receiver, averaged 25.0 yards on 10 returns. Coupled with his 14.54 punt return average, Garrett was named to The Sporting News Freshman All-America Third Team.
Mason joined the Ohio staff after coaching the wide receivers at New Mexico State in 2004. The Aggies featured the top-ranked passing offense in the conference and had five receivers catch 20-or-more passes.
Mason moved to NMSU from St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., in March of 2004 after one season as co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. At Saint Mary's, he helped develop Division I-AA All-America defensive back Wes Boba.
Mason was on the staff at Bucknell for three seasons (1999-2001). His first two seasons with the Bison, Mason was the receivers coach and worked with both the kickoff and punt returners. In 1999, Mason helped Jim Moran turn in the best freshman receiving season in school history with 31 catches, 390 yards and three touchdowns. He moved to defense in 2001 as Bucknell's secondary coach. In 2001, the Bison defense finished third in the nation in turnovers forced, fifth in the country in total defense and 18th in the nation in pass defense. Bucknell led the Patriot League in total defense, pass defense, sacks and scoring defense.
Mason returned to the offensive side of the ball as the wide receivers coach and special teams assistant at Utah in 2002. With the Utes, Mason helped produce the Mountain West Conference's top kickoff return unit (23.2 yards per return) and two of the league's top 10 receivers in both receptions and yards per game.
Mason was the receivers coach at Weber State in 1995 and 1996, while also working with kickoff and punt return specialists, before moving to Idaho State University in 1997 and 1998. At Weber State, Mason's receiving corps led the Big Sky in receptions and produced two first team all-conference performers, including consensus I-AA All-American Pokey Eckford.
Mason began his college coaching career in 1994 as receivers coach at
Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz. Mesa won the Valley of the Sun Bowl title that season.
Mason has also completed two minority internships with National Football League squads. He worked with the New York Giants in the summer of 2000 and with the St. Louis Rams in the summer of 1996.
A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Mason is a 1992 graduate of Northern Arizona. He was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at defensive back for the Lumberjacks football squad.
Mason and his wife Leighanne have two children - Makenzie and Sydney.
Mason's recruiting areas of emphasis include Arizona, Missouri, New Jersey, the Atlanta area and southern Florida.