Venables secret to success: Love your job

Zach Lentz

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has been coaching for 23 years, so needless to say he has seen just about everything that an offense can throw at a defense.

But for a coach that loves his job, even going against the great Tom Osborne’s Nebraska triple-option teams, was never hard.

“I got broken into coaching going against Nebraska mid-‘90s,” Venables said. “That was option, and geez, they executed better than anybody. And so it's all -- you know, I love my job so I don't look at it as “hard."

However, in today’s world of high-powered, up-tempo, hurry-up, no-huddle offenses a defense can be made to look very bad in a hurry.


While Venables is not a fan of going up against these new offenses week-in and week-out, he does enjoy the challenge of tying to defend and stop these offenses.

“I mean, I think it's well-known, it's well-documented just the different styles of offenses, the things that are en vogue now and the RPOs and some false reads and things like that,” Venables said. “But we try to be multiple, stay aggressive, and it's been good for us. Not perfect, but it's been good for us.

“So I love that challenge. That for me, I just -- I love the challenge. And doesn't mean I always like the result, but I love the challenge. And I love trying to get your players to not only understand how to stop and defend and handle these different styles, but I love for them to be able to know it like a coach. As a teacher, that's something I take a lot of pride in and joy in.”

Taking pride and joy in his job is what head coach Dabo Swinney believes has kept Venables at Clemson, even with his name being mentioned for numerous head coaching job.

“I don’t know if he has or hasn’t (been contacted), but I think Brent just loves Clemson. He loves our environment here. His family loves it here. And he loves what he does,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “There’s nothing wrong with being the best at what you do, being passionate about it. He’s like that.


“That doesn’t mean that he won’t be a head coach one day. It would take a very special situation, I think. I don’t think he’s driven by that. He’s driven by pushing people backwards and not letting people score. He loves that. And he’s passionate about these players and the guys he gets to coach every day. And we’ve got an incredible relationship. He’s just so awesome to work with every day.”

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