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What Oklahoma's Brent Venables Learned From Three Hall of Fame Coaches

After almost 30 years under Bill Snyder, Bob Stoops and Dabo Swinney, the Sooners' new football coach brings a unique combination to the job.

NORMAN — There can’t be a lot of coaches out there who have studied under three College Football Hall of Famers.

But Oklahoma’s Brent Venables has.

He spent six years at Kansas State learning from Bill Snyder, the architect of arguably the single greatest building job in the history of the game.

He spent 13 years at OU learning from Bob Stoops, who engineered the quickest national championship — two years — after five seasons of losing.

And he spent 10 years at Clemson learning from Dabo Swinney, who pulled off possibly college football’s most impressive rebound from mediocrity of the last 30 years.

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Snyder was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Stoops will be enshrined on Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Swinney will have to wait, but he’s a first-ballot shoo-in.

Snyder’s teams have a 215-117-1 record. Stoops’s teams racked up a 190-48 mark with a national title and three runner-up finishes. Swinney is 149-36 with two national championships and two runners-up.

That’s three different coaches from three different eras who do things three different ways, and Venables was in the staffroom with all three.

So what one or two elements does the 50-year-old Venables bring to his new post in Norman that he picked up from his mentors?

“I would say Bill Snyder — organization and details, thoroughness, the what-ifs,” Venables said. “Bob Stoops — very aggressive, go for broke, confident mentality. Dabo Swinney — how to love, loving the staff, loving the players, showing a genuine appreciation for everyone.”