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Sport: Former Oklahoma players endorse Clemson DC Brent Venables for new HC

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Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables was rewarded for another strong season with a three-year contract paying him million per year in February. Five months later, he has received another new deal. Venables and Clemson have agreed to a five-year, .6 million deal, the university Clemson ’s board of trustees met Thursday morning and approved new contracts of Venables and men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell. Venables ’ new deal includes retention bonuses for each year he remains at Clemson . He will receive a 0,000 bonus each year for the first two years of the deal

Venables does have ties to the Oklahoma program, serving as an assistant for the Sooners under former head coach Bob Stoops from 1999-2011. During his time at Clemson , Venables ' defenses have routinely been one of the best in the country. Coming into the 2021 season, the Tigers have led the ACC in scoring defense four times in the past five seasons. In his 25 years as a full-time assistant coach, Venables ' teams have 25 winning seasons, have been to 29 bowl games and have won 10-plus games 21 times.

The abrupt departure of Lincoln Riley has left Oklahoma searching for a new head coach. For several Oklahoma alumni, the choice is an obvious one.

  Former Oklahoma players endorse Clemson DC Brent Venables for new HC © Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

In the hours after Riley left for USC, there was a groundswell of support from ex-players for the Sooners to make a run at Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Venables has long been a highly-respected assistant coach, and served as Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2011.

Among those publicly calling for Venables were former Oklahoma defensive standouts Dusty Dvoracek, Aaron Colvin, and Tony Jefferson II, all of whom played under the current Clemson assistant.

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Brent Venables , an assistant at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops since 1999, is leaving to take the defensive coordinator job at Clemson . After a brief recruiting stint with Mike Stoops to Florida, Venables flew to Clemson with his wife to meet with Tigers coach Dabo Swinney and tour the facilities. Venables returned to Oklahoma City on Sunday night, and told reporters then he had not yet taken the job. But later in the week, Venables skipped previously scheduled recruiting trips to visit OU commitments Kevin Peterson and Daniel Brooks, raising speculation he might be on the way out.

For the fourth time in five games the Clemson defense has come up big for the Tigers in a one possession game and defensive coordinator Brent Venables is proud of the fight he has seen from his banged up group. Up by six, with under two minutes remaining against Boston College on Saturday night, the Eagles took possession of the ball at their own 36-yard line. Needing a stop to secure the win, Brent Venables ' message to his defense was simple. "Y'all talk about wanting to win, it's about making plays ," Venables said Saturday night when asked what he told his group before that final drive.

As of Monday, there were no indications that Venables and Oklahoma were in contact, despite rampant rumors on social media. However, given his history with the school and his stature in college football, he would make sense as a candidate.

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COLUMBIA , S.C. (AP) Clemson has made a second major statement this year about how much they want to hold onto defensive coordinator Brent Venables . After upping his salary to million a year in February, the school extended the deal to five seasons through 2022 and added retention bonuses that make the package worth .6 million. Venables , 47, has long been considered one of college football's top defensive leaders, helping Oklahoma win a national title in 2000 and doing the same at Clemson in 2016. He turned the Tigers into one of the country’s best defenses since arriving in 2012.

Clemson football defensive coordinator Brent Venables received a contract extension and a raise Wednesday. The new contract calls for Venables , who is about to enter his 10th season with the Tigers, to make .5 million annually, up from the .4 million per his previous contract. Venables ’ new deal, which will pay him more than 58 Division I head football coaches made last season, was approved Wednesday afternoon by Clemson ’s Compensation Committee, which also approved new contracts and raises for women’s basketball coach Amanda Butler and softball coach John Rittman.

The Sooners definitely appear likely to conduct a larger search, and one NFL coach has already been pressed into speaking about the position. It doesn’t sound like a new coach, be it Venables or someone else, will be announced quickly.

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