Jake Kirkendall begins his first year on the Vanderbilt staff. He serves Derek Mason’s program in the key role of Director of Football Operations.
Kirkendall will help oversee and direct the daily management of the Vanderbilt football effort, working to build cohesiveness and unity among all aspects of the program: student-athletes, coaches, strength and conditioning, sports medicine, personnel and recruiting, video, equipment, player development, academics, compliance, facilities and athletics administration.
The relationship between Mason and Kirkendall dates back more than a decade when Mason served as an offensive assistant at Ohio University.
“I’ve known Jake for a long time and followed his career closely. He is extremely bright, has handled the director of football operations position previously, and has worked effectively with head coaches and athletic directors in the role,” Mason said. “Jake also fully understands what we need with this program. I’m extremely confident in Jake’s ability to get us from where we are to where we want to be.”
Kirkendall, who has spent a decade in collegiate football operations, also is responsible for the Commodores’ team travel and logistics, and coordination of game-day operations.
Kirkendall comes to Vanderbilt from the University of Tennessee where he served as Director of Football Operations during the 2017 season. His duties in Knoxville ranged from organizing all areas of team travel to serving as a liaison between the football program and various areas within the Tennessee Athletic Department and campus. He was promoted to the Tennessee Director of Football Operations post one year after joining the Volunteer program in an associate director of operations role.
A native of Lucas, Ohio, Kirkendall earned invaluable experience during an eight-year stint as Director of Football Operations at Eastern Michigan University. He was the point of contact between the EMU football program and athletic administrators, compliance, academic services, financial aid, student housing and dining, admissions, equipment, sports information, athletic training, conditioning, ticket office, facilities, purchasing, EMU President’s Office, Mid-American Conference officials and NFL scouts.
He started his collegiate career in 2007, serving one year as Director of Football Operations/Video Coordinator at Dartmouth University.
Kirkendall is a graduate of Ohio University. He earned an undergraduate degree in Sports Management in 2007.
Kirkendall and the former Marissa Beltowski were married in October 2017.