The rumors connecting Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables to Clemson over the past week finally resulted in confirmation from Venables himself last night that he would be the new DC for the Tigers.
Reasons behind the move speculated from one extreme to the other. Some believed Venables was insulted that he would have to share the DC spot again with Mike Stoops; others pointed toward increased financial compensation at Clemson. As it is most of the time, it was probably a combination of factors and really somewhere in the middle.
Speaking with KREF Sports Talk 1400, Venables said the process was “gut wrenching” and included “lots of sleepless nights.”
“It was a difficult decision,” Venables said. “I felt deep down this was the right thing for me to do at the right time in my life.
“It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity, but to look in the rear view mirror and leave behind the relationships… to the University of Oklahoma… it’s a sad day.”
But after 13 years of service to Bob Stoops, Venables made a decision for Venables. Can you really blame a guy for that? Despite the fact that Oklahoma “moved mountains” to try to keep him — Venables said OU was able to get close to what Clemson was offering in both dollars and years — the longtime DC took a step to what he felt gave him a better opportunity to eventually be a head coach.
Isn’t that the ultimate goal of just about any coach? Venables, remember, was connected to the Clemson head coaching job a few years ago before it went to Dabo Swinney.
Of course, the big question still revolved around the re-hiring of Mike Stoops. Venables downplayed any friction.
“I have a fabulous relationship with Mike Stoops and I thought together we are better,” Venables said. “I thought we could rekindle the old magic, if you will.”
True, spun or otherwise, Venables has said and done all the right things in the process. If you’re going to leave, go out as a positive memory in people’s minds.
“I’ve had the highest of highs here both professionally and personally, and the lowest of lows here professionally and personally,” Venables said emotionally. “Believe it or not, I still call [Oklahoma] home.”