Skip to main content

Pair of Former Oklahoma Stars Want Brent Venables as Next Sooners Coach

With Lincoln Riley off to USC, Oklahoma becomes the newest marquee job opening in a crazy coaching carousel. One name that has some former Sooners buzzing: former Oklahoma and current Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

Venables has resisted jumping into a head coaching position. The opportunity in Norman could be a good one, and two former Oklahoma stars he coached late in his tenure want to see him land the job.

Defensive backs Tony Jefferson and Aaron Colvin each played for Venables during the last few years of his Oklahoma tenure, before carving out NFL careers. Both have taken to Twitter to back the idea of Venables to Oklahoma.

While playing under Venables, Jefferson earned Freshman All-American and Big 12 co-defensive freshman of the year honors in 2010. He spent time with the Cardinals and Ravens, and is currently on the 49ers practice squad.

Colvin was a two-time All-Big 12 player after Venables's time in Norman, but played for him during his freshman and sophomore campaigns. He went on to be a fourth-round pick by the Jaguars, and has spent time with the Texans and Washington Football Team.

SI Recommends

So far, there are no strong reports connecting Venables—or any significant name—to the opening. Oklahoma president Joe Harroz said that he and athletic director Joe Castiglione were blindsided by Riley's departure. Bob Stoops has stepped in as the interim coach while the program looks for a new full-time coach.

Venables is a natural name to speculate about. His Oklahoma roots run pretty deep, after serving under Stoops from 1999–2011 and led a BCS National Championship-winning defense in 2000. At Clemson, he's been Dabo Swinney's right-hand man, winning a pair of College Football Playoff national championships.

Whether Venables is ready for a head coaching job is a major question. Last summer, he admitted to ESPN's David Hale that he was closer to taking a job last offseason than years prior, but that he's "happy," adding, "You have to be careful not to screw up happy."

More College Football Coverage:

For more news on the Oklahoma Sooners, head over to All Sooners.