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OU football: Four potential candidates to replace Brent Venables

OKLAHOMA FOOTBALL — A linebackers coach will likely take Venables' place on the staff, but there's a chance Bob Stoops could shuffle assignments. If he does choose a linebackers coach, among possible candidates are former Arizona assistant Tim Kish and former South Florida coach Jim Leavitt.
BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, Published: January 19, 2012

With the news that Brent Venables is off to Clemson, Oklahoma will now embark on a search for his replacement. It will likely be a linebackers coach, but there's always the chance Bob Stoops could shuffle staff assignments to bring in someone for another position or area. If Stoops does opt to bring in a linebackers coach, here are a few potential candidates.

Tim Kish

Age: 57

Previous employer: University of Arizona

Previous position: Interim head coach (stint ended December 2011)

Why it's a fit: Couldn't be a better one for Mike Stoops, who worked with Kish at Arizona. He'll know the defensive philosophies and theories better than anyone else would. Has recruiting ties to the Southwest and particularly California, a recent go-to for OU. He's from Ohio, so he's also got that connection with the Stoopses.

Why it's not: Because it's too obvious? Maybe Kish is looking for something else, something different.

Jim Leavitt

Age: 55

Current employer: NFL's San Francisco 49ers

Current position: linebackers coach (first year)

Why it's a fit: Great defensive mind who even has head coaching experience, most recently at South Florida. In the OU “family,” since he worked with Bob Stoops and others at Kansas State.

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