OU's Brent Venables accepts position at Clemson
James Corley, The Oklahoma Daily
While OU has yet to release any official statement on the matter, it is now clear there will be no co-defensive coordinators in Norman next football season.
Just a week after the university hired Mike Stoops as a co-defensive coordinator — and after several weeks of speculation — Brent Venables announced he will be leaving Oklahoma to accept the defensive coordinator job at Clemson.
In a radio interview with KREF-AM on Thursday morning, Venables talked about how difficult the decision to leave Oklahoma was but said he looks forward to the opportunities the new job could open up.
“I’ve got a fabulous relationship with Mike Stoops and felt together we are better,” Venables said. “I thought really we could rekindle the ‘old magic,’ if you will, and was really looking forward to that. But it was time to make a move. This could be an opportunity for me down the road to become a head coach as well.”
Speculation about Venables leaving has been running rampant since last week. After Stoops — who shared defensive duties with Venables at OU from 1999-2003 — was re-hired, the two took a brief recruiting visit to Florida. Following that meeting, Venables flew to Clemson with his wife and met with Tigers coach Dabo Swinney. After returning, however, Venables denied reports that he had taken the job, leading some to believe he would be staying in Norman for at least one more year. But when he missed scheduled recruiting trips later in the week, speculation picked right back up.
Wednesday night, Swinney ended speculation when he sent a text message to The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) that, according to the paper, was short and to the point: “BV to Clemson. Go Tigers.”
Venables confirmed what most already knew early Thursday with the radio interview — after 13 years at Oklahoma, he was moving on.
Now, all that is left for the speculation machine is who the Sooners will hire to coach linebackers, a position the staff presumably was considering already before officially announcing Venables’ departure.