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Defensive coach Brent Venables is heading back to Norman.
Announced Sunday, according to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, Oklahoma is finalizing a deal with the Clemson defensive coordinator to name Venables as the next Sooners head coach. Reports of Venables’ strong consideration for the role first arose Saturday.
Nearing a done deal for the head coaching hire — just a week since former coach Lincoln Riley departed OU — Sooners AD Joe Castiglione knew he could go with a familiar name like Venables to bridge the successful tenure left by Riley to a new era prepping for a spot in the SEC. Venables is also a Bob Stoops disciple — a fellow DC-turned-HC that found great fortune in Norman.
Venables served as a Sooners assistant, linebackers coach and defensive coordinator between 1999-2011.
According to Sports Illustrated, the Sooners expect to pair the Venables hire by bringing Ole Miss OC Jeff Lebby to lead an OU offensive attack spearheaded by Riley since 2015.
Castiglione and coaches from OU visited Venables’ lakehouse in Greenville on Sunday to set themselves up for an announcement and presser Monday. Hours after the visit, Castiglione tweeted out an emoji, hinting that the school has locked in their next coach.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela