Venables Sunday afternoon update: Still in Clemson, OU still waiting
CAMPUS CORNER — Posting here a Brent Venables update I just sent in for the website. Heard bits and pieces last night about Venables being in Clemson. The fact that he’s still there — and speaking with recruits — would seem to indicate he’s serious about the Tigers. And they like him, as well. Venables interviewed in 2008 for the head coaching position that ultimately went to Dabo Swinney.
Here’s the story. I’d expect Venables to make a decision in the next 24 hours, though you never know exactly how this stuff will go. At this point, because of the amount of information out there, OU might even release something if he stays. It’s rare, when that happens, but sometimes it’s done to assure current and future recruits that the coach is invested in the program and doesn’t have one foot out the door.
What’s the best choice for Venables in this instance? Certainly cases for both sides. Just a matter of what he and his family want. If he’s interested in winning a bunch of games and doesn’t care about titles or a big raise, OU is probably the right call. If he’s enticed by something new and the idea of potentially being a head coach one day, Clemson is probably the right place. Just a matter of what’s important to him at this time in his career – and he’s the only one who can answer that.
By TRAVIS HANEY
NORMAN – Brent Venables is getting an extended look at the Upstate area of South Carolina.
Oklahoma’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach has been at Clemson since sometime Saturday afternoon, according to those familiar with the situation. He has been speaking with school officials about the defensive coordinator opening, vacated earlier this week by Kevin Steele’s departure.
Venables was even going so far to speak with Tigers recruits while he was in town. At least one was left under the impression Venables would soon take the job.
“I feel like he’s going to be the guy,” Clemson safety commit Ronald Geohaghan told TigerIllustrated.com on Sunday. “I think that’s who is going to be our defensive coordinator. He seems cool and down to earth. He takes his job seriously and loves his team, loves his linebackers.”
Sources have indicated Clemson is perhaps willing to pay in the neighborhood of $1 million a year for the new coordinator. The Tigers’ offensive coordinator, former Tulsa assistant Chad Morris, now makes $1.3 million a year.
Venables currently makes about $500,000 at OU. Venables, who arrived at OU with Bob Stoops in 1999, solely held the coordinator title from 2004 until Friday.
That was the time in which Mike Stoops worked as Arizona’s head coach. Bob’s younger brother returned this past week to coach the secondary and again share the defensive chief role with Venables.
It’s unclear how Venables’ responsibilities would change if he did stay, although there’s more than a fair share of speculation that Mike Stoops would again be the principal decision-maker, since he was in the first go-round.
Both Mike and Bob Stoops have adamantly said the roles have not been defined.
Venables and Mike Stoops left Oklahoma City together Friday afternoon to recruit – something that was even indicated in the school’s release announcing Mike Stoops’ rehiring.
Mike Stoops was spotted Saturday night at the Thunder basketball game while Venables remained east, where he still was as of Sunday afternoon.
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