Sooner or later has come (Boomer) Sooner for Brent Venables

Brent Venables is retracing his steps to Clemson by returning to Oklahoma as head coach (John Byrum/SIDELINE CAROLINA)

Sunday night Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables went from being the nation’s highest paid assistant coach to being the head coach the Oklahoma Sooners. Sooner officials flew to the Upstate this afternoon where they met with Venables at his Clemson area home for several hours, then flew Venables and his family to Norman where they landed late Sunday evening. He will be officially introduced at a press conference Monday morning at 10:30 Eastern.

Sunday night Oklahoma released the following statement from Venables:

“This is an incredibly special opportunity. Julie and I and our family are extremely grateful for the belief in us — and certainly in me — to be the next head coach at Oklahoma, one of the winningest and most tradition-rich programs in college football history. Our memories from Norman, where all four of our children were born, have been nothing but great. We’re looking forward to making another decade-plus of incredible memories as we transition to a new era of Oklahoma football, especially with the opportunity and the challenge to join the SEC, the premier conference in all of college football. Joe Castiglione, President Harroz and the Board of Regents have given us incredible support that equals the best of the best in our sport. There’s no question we are equipped to compete at the very highest level and attract the best players from across the country. The OU logo has never been stronger.”

Venables spent ten seasons at Clemson during which time he transformed the defense into one of the nation’s elite units annually ranking at or near the top of in a variety of statistical categories. Over the last 10 years, the Tigers rank first nationally in sacks (445; next most is 392) and opponent third-down conversion percentage (30.2%), second in opponent pass efficiency rating (111.1) and takeaways (244; tied), third in scoring defense (17.8 ppg) and opponent completion percentage (53.3), fourth in total defense (311.4 ypg) and pass defense (190.5 ypg), fifth in interceptions (148) and sixth in rushing defense (120.9 ypg). They won conference titles each year from 2015-20.

This season Clemson ranks second nationally in scoring defense (15.0 ppg) and red zone defense (62.1 conversion percentage), fourth in sacks (3.4 per game), eighth in rushing defense (98.8 ypg) and ninth in total defense (308.4 ypg).

The 50-year-old Venables is no stranger to Oklahoma. Before coming to Clemson, he spent thirteen seasons there, first as linebackers coach and eventually as defensive coordinator. During his time, the Sooners won a national championship and played for it three other times. They also won seven Big 12 titles.

This will be Venables first opportunity to run his own program.

Venables may not be the only member of Dabo Swinney’s staff to hit the door. Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott has been in conversations over the weekend with Duke and Virginia about those head coaching jobs. And there is the situation with athletics director Dan Radakovich who has been in talks with Miami after the AD job there.

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