Derek Mason

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Vanderbilt mourns death of beloved staffer Osia Lewis, 57, after lengthy battle with liver cancer

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Vanderbilt football is mourning the loss of one of its own.

In February of 2017, Vanderbilt announced that football assistant Osia Lewis was battling a form of liver cancer called cholangiocarcinoma.  This weekend, the Commodores have been forced to make the sad announcement that Lewis has lost his three-year-plus battle with the insidious disease.

Lewis was 57 at the time of his death.  He leaves behind a wife and two children.

“We are deeply saddened for the loss of our heart and soul, Osia Lewis,” the Vanderbilt football program wrote on Twitter. “Our thoughts and love are with Osia’s family and friends.

“Rest in paradise.”

In 2016, Lewis joined the Vanderbilt football staff as senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach.  Following his diagnosis, Lewis stepped away from his on-field coaching role but continued his duties as a senior defensive assistant.  He also carried the title special consultant to head coach Derek Mason.

Prior to his time at Vandy, Lewis was the defensive line coach at San Diego State.  He also served a pair of stints as a defensive coordinator, first at New Mexico (2003-07) and then at UTEP _2008-09)

The Tucson native began his coaching career as the special teams coach and linebackers coach at Oregon State.  Lewis then moved on to Illinois as linebackers and defensive line coach from 1997-02.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Lewis’ death.

Eight Vanderbilt football players have now entered transfer portal since end of 2019 season

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Losing players to the transfer portal is becoming old hat for the Vanderbilt football program.

Players like quarterback Mo Hasan (HERE) and starting left tackle Devin Cochran (HERE) have opted to leave transfer from Vanderbilt football. On Twitter this week, wide receiver C.J. Bolar indicated that he too has “officially entered my name into the transfer portal.”

“I want to thank Coach Mason and staff for looking after me these past couple of years,” Bolar wrote. “I am excited for what’s to come.”

It’s believed that Bolar will have to sit out the 2020 season. If that’s the case, the receiver would then have two years of eligibility to use beginning with the 2021 season.

Bolar was a three-star member of the Vanderbilt football Class of 2018. The Mississippi native was the No. 13 player regardless of position in the state. Only four players on the offensive side of the ball in the Commodores’ class that year were rated higher than Bolar.

As a true freshman, Bolar caught 34 passes, which was good for third on the team. It was also fourth all-time for a Vanderbilt football freshman. He added 440 yards and two touchdowns on those catches.

Injuries helped limit Bolar to just nine games played this past season. In that action, he totaled 79 yards on 11 receptions.

During his time with the Vanderbilt football program, Bolar started 14 of the 22 games in which he played.

All told, Bolar is the eighth Vanderbilt football player to enter the portal since late November. From the Nashville Post:

Bolar joins quarterbacks Mo Hasan (USC), Deuce Wallace and Allan Walters (Mississippi State), offensive tackles Devin Cochran (Georgia Tech) and Carlton Lorenz, and defensive linemen Josia Sa’o and Eddie Zinn-Turner as Vanderbilt players to transfer since the end of the 2019 season.

The Commodores are coming off their sixth straight sub-.500 season under Derek Mason. The three wins were the program’s fewest since Mason’s first season in 2014. In mid-November, Vandy confirmed that Mason would be returning for his seventh season.