- College football reporter
- Joined ESPN.com in 2007
- Graduate of the University of Tennessee
Oklahoma has targeted veteran Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as the Sooners’ next head football coach, and the two sides hope to have a deal finalized as early as Sunday, sources told ESPN.
Venables has been a major part of Clemson’s championship run under Dabo Swinney and has a long history at Oklahoma. He was on the Sooners’ staff from 1999 to 2011, serving as co-defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2003 and defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2011.
While at Clemson, Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football. He has turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay at Clemson.
If a deal is reached with Venables at Oklahoma, sources told ESPN that Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby would be his top choice as offensive coordinator. Lebby, a semifinalist for the Broyles Award each of the past two seasons, spent four years as a student assistant at Oklahoma after signing to play there before suffering a career-ending injury.
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