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.
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.
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.
Why it's not: He's purported to be smitten with the NFL, and his team is on the rise. Some, too, will be reminded of why he was fired at USF. He allegedly struck a player.
Previous employer: University of Miami
Previous position: head coach (fired December 2010)
Why it's a fit: Excellent recruiter and strong reputation as a position coach. Extremely well liked by those who have worked with him.
Why it's not: To go from a head coach to a linebackers coach is a precipitous fall, but, you know, he's going to have to take a job somewhere. Some questions about his baggage with the NCAA keep following him around. Also not part of the OU “family,” really.
Current employer: Texas Christian University
Current position: linebackers coach (seven years)
Why it's a fit: There's no way to quantify this, really, but he could be the best linebackers coach in the country. Could be looking to move, after an extended stay on Gary Patterson's staff. Recruits Houston, which is a hotbed for OU.
Why it's not: Perhaps he's happy at TCU, which is about to move into the Big 12. Could be waiting to become a coordinator with the Frogs.
Another guy who isn't part of the “family.”