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Who is Brent Venables? Meet the new Oklahoma head coach tipped to replace Lincoln Riley



Since 1998, Oklahoma has been one of the nation’s perennial college football teams. There hasn’t been a single losing season at Norman since 1998, and the Sooners have finished the season unranked just three times since.

Win 4 consecutive Big 12 titles and 4 consecutive years ranked in the top 10 and what is more surprising is that Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma last week to try and rebuild a pervasive USC program.

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Riley’s departure has created one of the biggest job openings in the country in a place where jobs rarely appear. It is now reported that Clemson’s defensive coordinator Brent Venables has agreed to succeed Riley, according to The Athletic, with an announcement possibly as early as Monday.

Venables joined Clemson in 2012 and was defensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 2004-11 but joined the Sooners in 1999 under coach Bob Stoops. He has won three national championships as an assistant and was awarded the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2016.

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How old is Brent Venables?

At 50, Venables would be the oldest coach to lead the Sooners since Howard Schnellenberger took over at the age of 61 during his only season at Norman in 1995. For comparison, Lincoln Riley was appointed as the manager. Coach of the Sooners at 34 while College Football Hall of Famer and Riley predecessor Bob Stoops inherited the gig at 39.

Of the four coaches first hired by FBS last season, the oldest is Soutnern Miss’ Will Hall, aged 40, while the youngest is South Alabama’s Kane Wommack, 33.

Venables began his coaching career as a 23-year-old graduate assistant at Kansas State under Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder, with whom Venables played for two seasons.

Brent Venables’ Oklahoma Relationship

If Venables is in fact named the Sooners’ next head coach, he would continue the trend of all but two Oklahoma coaches since 1966 either having played for or have coached at Oklahoma.

Venables served on the Stoops staff from 1999-2011. He was first a defensive coordination coach and midfield coach from 1999-03 before being promoted to full-time defensive coordinator from 2004-11, when he left for Clemson .

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During Venables’ first stint at Norman, the Sooners ranked first in both passing and total defense and third in scoring defense in 2003, while leading the Big 12 in total defense and goalscoring. in 2006. As a result, for the 2006 season, Venables reached the final round for the Broyles Award for the first time in his career.

Venables is known for his fiery personality on the sidelines, often subject to restraint and control, much like his predecessor Riley and his mentor Stoops.

Oklahoma has been a powerhouse in the Group of 12 since the conference began in 1996, but the longtime Norman resident will also likely be tasked with overseeing the program’s transition to the SEC before the 2025 season. .

Clemson’s defense under Venables

Venables signed a contract extension during the season pays him $2.5 million per year through 2025. That makes him the highest-paid assistant in the country and better-paid than some head coaches.

However, it makes sense as he won the 2016 Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach for his work with the defensive national championship and has proudly been the one of the country’s better defensive units in the last decade.

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But 2016 wasn’t the Tigers’ best defensive year with Venables leading.

Year Total Defense (ranked) Defensive Scoring (ranked) Third Defense Down (ranked) Red Zone Defense (rank)
2012 63 48 24 21
two thousand and thirteen 25 24 5 48
2014 first 3 first 13
2015 ten 24 4 62
2016 8 ten 5 30
2017 4 2 6 thirty first
2018 5 first 6 4
2019 6 3 11 19
Year 2020 15 18 ten thirty first
Year 2021 9 2 22 2

Clemson has made huge strides after Venables’ first two years, becoming a formidable defensive team as well as an offensive disruptor with the likes of Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence leading the way in midfield.

Venables won two national titles with Clemson, in 2016 and 2018, when the Tigers were just 16 points behind Alabama in the national championship match.





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