Lincoln Riley left the Oklahoma Sooners in shock when he left the Sooner program to become the head coach of the University of Southern California Trojans. However his leaving opened the door for former Clemson Tigers' defensive coordinator Brent Venables to go back to the place that he called home for more than a decade as the 23rd head coach of the Sooners.
This week, Riley joined Jim Rome to discuss his leaving the Sooners and their new head coach—whom he believes will be great.
“I think it’s awesome,” Riley said. “I’ve known Brent for a long time, he’s a good friend. To see him get that opportunity, I know he’s been waiting for the right opportunity for a long time. He’s certainly earned it and I know he’ll do a great job. We got the chance to visit a little bit, which was great, before he accepted the job. I’m really happy for him and his family. I know him well and he’ll do a great job there. They couldn’t have found a better choice.”
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This time Clemson finished the game
This time Clemson finished the job. The last time the Tigers were at Littlejohn Coliseum, they blew a 23-point lead in a devastating two-point loss to Boston College.
Venables admitted that the decision to finally make the jump from coordinator to head coach was made easier by the fact that it was Oklahoma–a place that he felt trumped the other offers that he has turned down.
"I don’t think I can take the OU out of it. I’ll be honest," Venables said. "I mean, that’s what was in it for me. Having numerous opportunities through my career, throughout my career—listen, I’m a simple guy. I value some things that maybe other people don’t, and maybe more so. I value relationships. I value people. I value quality of life. And I value simplicity. Just because you become the head coach doesn’t mean you can’t keep things simple. You know, you control that narrative. And listen, this is Oklahoma. All right? Alabama’s never offered me a head job. And I don’t want to go down my small rolodex of schools, but this is that program.
"So, I feel like I’ve had 27-plus years of interviewing preparation. I’ve been exposed to three College Football Hall of Fame coaches. Coach Swinney will be next. And what they’ve been able to pour into me, I’ve always been a sponge. I’m taking it all in. So, I’ve led my group, my position group. I’ve led defenses. I’ve been in front of the team plenty. It’s something that’s easy for me. It’s something I love to do. I’m just passionate about people. And I am passionate about winning, but I’m passionate about winning the right way and never compromising those values. And so just like the players will tell you it doesn’t have to change. It doesn’t need to change. It won’t change when you become the head coach."