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Brent Venables hired as Oklahoma head coach

The Sooners bring back a familiar face from the Bob Stoops era.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables communicate during the second quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, Friday, October 15, 2021.  Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Oklahoma Sooners have hired Brent Venables as their head coach, according to ESPN’s Chris Low. Venables was most recently Clemson’s defensive coordinator and helped oversee the program’s transition from underwhelming ACC power to national force. Sooners fans will know Venables from his stint in Norman as defensive coordinator from 1999-2011. He also had associate head coaching duties from 2004-11 and coached linebackers.

Venables has had opportunities to jump to other jobs, but decided to stay at Clemson. There was the sense he would take over for the Tigers if Dabo Swinney left the program but the head coach seems to be there for the long haul. With Clemson experiencing a down season and Oklahoma opening up, Venables saw his chance at a big-time job.

The Sooners had to make a move with Lincoln Riley heading to USC in a surprising decision. Oklahoma, headed to the SEC soon, decided to go defensive with Venables. The familiarity is there and the track record speaks for itself. Let’s see if Venables can keep the Sooners competitive in the toughest conference in college football.