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Brent Venables takes over at Oklahoma

Longtime Clemson defensive coordinator is a former Oklahoma assistant who returns to Norman for his first head coaching job.

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma has hired Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as its head coach to replace Lincoln Riley. Riley departed the Sooners last week to take over at Southern California. 

Venables was on Oklahoma’s staff under Bob Stoops as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011. At Clemson, he won the Broyles Award in 2016 as the nation’s top assistant. He has been on the staff of teams that have won three national titles and played in eight national championship games. 

The 50-year-old Venables becomes a head coach for the first time. He has long been considered one of the best defensive minds in college football and now he will return to Norman, this time as the head coach.