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Why UM Should Hire Brent Venables

We continue the series with an up and coming defensive coordinator who helped start the new coaching search with the latest defeat of the Canes, Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables.

Brent Venables looks on as the Clemson defense get ready for a game.
Brent Venables looks on as the Clemson defense get ready for a game.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: This is not the consensus opinion of the staff and we will be profiling many other candidates.

Coaching Candidate: Rob Chudzinski

Coaching Candidate: Mark Stoops

Coaching Candidate: Butch Davis


Brent Venables played as a linebacker under coach Bill Snyder at Kansas State. After his playing days ended he immediately took a position under his former coach leading the linebackers he had just played with. He was the position coach from ’93 to ’98. After the ’98 season he took a job as the co-defensive coordinator of the Oklahoma Sooners, he shared the responsibilities with Head Coach Bob Stoops’ brother, Mike. In 2004 Bob Stoops decided to give Venables free reign of the defense as the sole defensive coordinator.

However, in 2012 Mike Stoops decided to head back to Norman to retake his old position as Defensive Coordinator so Venables decided to look for other opportunities. Clemson had just gotten blown out in their bowl game to West Virginia so Dabo Sweeney decided to take a flier on the bright defensive mind and so Venables was named the Defensive Coordinator at Clemson with full reign of the unit.

Since he’s taken over the group they’ve done nothing but improve over the last three seasons. In 2013 the Clemson defense was ranked 25th in total defense and then followed it up with the number 1 overall ranking in 2014. Besides the gaudy stat improvements he also has developed NFL talent throughout the defense.

Positives Towards Becoming the New Coach

1) Strong recruiter who has ties to the Midwest and Southeast due to his exposure at both Oklahoma and Clemson

2) Has worked under defensive mastermind Bob Stoops and has proven that his defenses have sustained success against high levels of competition

3) Currently is making ~$800,000 so the buyout/promotion to Head Coach is not insurmountable

Negatives Towards Becoming the New Coach

1) Has never been a Head Coach

2) Does not have any direct ties to the area in terms of recruiting

3) Was rumored to be in the running when the Canes hired Coach Golden but said he wasn’t interested


Venables is a long shot for the Miami vacancy. I think he’d be more comfortable with a Midwest team so he may hold out for a position in the region. His skill set would be an undeniable plus for the program as he brings a no-nonsense, aggressive mentality on the defense. Couple his defensive prowess with an up and coming offensive mind and you maybe cooking with gasoline.