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Sport News Who is Brent Venables? Meet New Oklahoma Head Coach Replacing Lincoln Riley

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Since 1998, Oklahoma has been one of the lasting powers of college football in the country. There hasn’t been a losing season at Norman since 1998, and the Sooners have only finished the unranked season three times since then.

Add four straight Big 12 titles and four straight years of ranking in the top 10 and it’s all the more surprising that Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma last week to try and rebuild a USC spray program.

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Riley’s departure has created one of the largest job openings in the country in a location where work isn’t open very often. Oklahoma announced Sunday night that Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables had agreed to succeed Riley.

Venables has been at Clemson since 2012 and was the defensive coordinator in Oklahoma from 2004-2011, but joined the Sooners staff in 1999 under then-coach Bob Stoops. He won three national championships as an assistant and received the Broyles Award as the country’s top assistant coach in 2016.

Sporting News has everything you need to know about the Sooners’ next coach.

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How old is Brent Venables?

At 50, Venables is said to be the oldest coach to lead the Sooners since Howard Schnellenberger took over at 61 for his only season at Norman in 1995. By comparison, Lincoln Riley was named Sooners coach at 34. while college football The Hall of Famer and Riley’s predecessor, Bob Stoops, inherited the gig at age 39.

Of the four FBS coaches first hired last season, the oldest was Will Hall of Soutnern Miss, at 40, while the youngest was Kane Wommack of South Alabama, who was 33.

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

Brent Venables Oklahoma Ties

Venables continues a trend of all but two Oklahoma coaches since 1966, having played for or previously coaching in Oklahoma.

Venables was on the Stoops staff from 1999-2011. He was first defensive co-coordinator and linebacker coach from 1999-2003 before being elevated to full-time defensive coordinator from 2004-2011, when ‘he left for Clemson.

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During Venables’ first stint at Norman, the Sooners placed first in passing defense and all-out defense and third in scoring defense in 2003, while leading the Big 12 in all-out defense and in scoring defense in 2006. Following the 2006 season, Venables was named a Broyles Award finalist for the first time in his career.

Venables is known for his fiery personality on the sidelines, often needing to be restrained and held in check, much like his predecessor Riley and mentor Stoops.

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

Clemson’s defense under Venables

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

It makes sense, however, given that he won the 2016 Broyles Award as the nation’s best assistant coach for his work with a national championship-winning defense and bragged about one of the best ever. defensive units of the country over the past decade.

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But 2016 was far from the Tigers’ best defensive year with Venables at the helm.

Year Total defense (rank) Score defense (rank) Third defense down (rank) Red Zone Defense (Rank)
2012 63 48 24 21
2013 25 24 5 48
2014 1 3 1 13
2015 ten 24 4 62
2016 8 ten 5 30
2017 4 2 6 31
2018 5 1 6 4
2019 6 3 11 19
2020 15 18 ten 31
2021 9 2 22 2

Clemson made major strides after Venables’ first two years, becoming a formidable defensive team as well as an attacking juggernaut with players like Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence leading the charge as quarterback.

Venables won two national titles with Clemson, in 2016 and 2018, when the Tigers gave up just 16 points to Alabama in the national championship game.



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