After more than a week of rumors and innuendo, it is now official, as Brent Venables was introduced as the new head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners on Monday.
After serving as the Clemson defensive coordinator for the past decade, Venables will now move on to take his first head coaching job and will do so in a place he used to call home. Venables was the defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Oklahoma prior to coming to Clemson, spending a total of 13 seasons as an assistant for the Sooners.
"Only God could do this," Venables said as his introduction. "Those that know my background, having grown up in a very dysfunctional way, and putting me here as I stand before you as a head football coach at the University of Oklahoma, only God can do this. And so I just want to take this opportunity to thank the Lord."
After spending the past week on the recruiting trail, Venables returned to the upstate over the weekend, spending Sunday at his home with Oklahoma officials finalizing the deal that would make him a head coach for the very first time in his career.
Clemson Tigers in the NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
No. 4 Los Angeles Rams (12-5) will host No. 5 Arizona Cardinals (11-6) on Monday in the first ever NFL playoff game at SoFi Stadium.
Hunter Johnson Transferring Back to Clemson
Former Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson is transferring back into the Tigers' program.
Nick Eason a Familiar Face for 2023 DT
2023 DT Terry Simmons spoke to All Clemson about Nick Eason taking over for Todd Bates as the Tigers' defensive tackles coach.
"We really didn't know that this was going to happen," Venables said. "If y'all kind of watch from afar, these searches can go one way or the other. I've been on both sides of it now. But just very thankful for again, the patience in the process. It's not easy for anybody, but just again, thankful that we're here today."
The Tigers have routinely fielded some of the best defenses in the country since Venables' arrival at Clemson following the 2011 season. Over the past eight seasons, the Tigers have finished no lower than seventh in the country in team sacks. Three times during that span Clemson led the nation. Currently, the Tigers are sixth nationally in sacks, with the one bowl game remaining.
Now Venables gets set to take his aggressive scheme to Oklahoma. After arriving in Norman on Sunday night, Venables had his very first team meeting with Sooners players via a Zoom call. Then on Monday morning, walked into the facility for the very first time as head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners.
"I stand here, just in awe," Venables said. "It was the coolest thing, getting off the plane last night to see the welcoming in hurricane-type wind, weather. Then have an opportunity just prior to that to visit with the team, get on the zoom with the players. That was my comfort zone there. And that was neat."
"But to be able to wake up today and come into the office and have a team meeting today, I'm not sure when the last time I felt so fulfilled and excited. And I just want to thank the players for being there today. And I want to tell you guys right now how thankful grateful and appreciative I am of you and to be your head football coach."
Want to join in on the discussion? 100% FREE! Interact with fellow Tiger fans and hear directly from publisher Zach Lentz, deputy editor Brad Senkiw and recruiting analyst Jason Priester on any subject. Click here to become a member of the ALL CLEMSON message board community today!