Oklahoma Head Coach Brent Venables Has Pressure to Win Right Away

@OU_Football on Twitter

Oklahoma Head Coach Brent Venables Has Pressure to Win Right Away


Oklahoma Head Coach Brent Venables Has Pressure to Win Right Away


@OU_Football on Twitter

Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables enters his first season with the program as its new head coach.

Venables took the job at Oklahoma following former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley’s departure to USC in November. Venables was previously Clemson’s defensive coordinator from 2012 to 2021.

Venables’ presence at Clemson helped change the program with a stout defense over the course of 10 seasons. He was an integral part of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s rise to the top of his profession as a head coach. Venables was viewed as one of the best coordinators in college football for the majority of his tenure at Clemson.

He spent his last four seasons at Clemson as the associate head coach. That helped him prepare for a future position as a program’s head coach.

Venables had seven defenses that were ranked No. 1 in the country during his time as a defensive coordinator. While Clemson was the place where Venables received national acclaim for his defensive acumen, that was not his first stop as a defensive coordinator. In fact, this will not be Venables’ first stint at Oklahoma. He served as the Sooners’ defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2011.

The Sooners brought in someone with a rich history with the program. Venables coached under former head coach Bob Stoops and he was a great fit with the culture of the program. When he left, the program had to adjust to not having Venables calling the defense’s plays anymore.

Oklahoma hired Venables as their next head coach because he will be able to bring the program back to a defensive-centered mindset. Under Stoops and Riley, the program let the defense take a back seat to the offense. Oklahoma had the sixth-best defense in the Big 12 Conference in 2021. Under Venables, that will likely change as he will put an emphasis on limiting the number of points the defensive will give up.

The program’s lack of defensive success will add more pressure to Venables’ slate. He was already expected to bring the team back to the College Football Playoff as someone who coached at Oklahoma for 12 years. If Venables struggles in his first year, he will start to feel the expectations that come along with being the head coach at Oklahoma. He will have big shoes to fill following Riley’s exit.

They wanted to hire a coach that was familiar with the program and they are getting exactly that in Venables. In Oklahoma, Venables is a beloved figure and if he can find a way to dominate the Big 12, the praise will grow.

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