Brent Venables

Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • In his 23 years as a full-time assistant coach, his teams have 23 winning seasons, have been to 27 bowl games and have won 10+ games 19 times.
  • Has coached in six national championship games, helping Clemson to three berths and two titles.
  • Ranked fourth in rushing defense (96.3 yards per game), fifth in total defense (285.9 yards per game) in 2018. Led the country in scoring defense (13.1 points per game) for the first time in school history.
  • Unit set a school record with 54 sacks in 2018, the third-most by any FBS team in a season since 2000.
  • His 2018 defense produced five first- or second-team All-Americans, including two consensus selections (Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins). Ferrell also won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end and Wilkins won the Campbell Trophy, known colloquially as the “Academic Heisman.” Linebacker Tre Lamar was a finalist for the Butkus Award.
  • His 2017 defense was second in the nation in scoring defense (13.6) and fourth in total defense (276.7).
  • Helped linebacker Dorian O’Daniel become a finalist for the Butkus Award in 2017.
  • Recipient of the 2016 Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach. His 2016 group amassed
  • 130 tackles for loss and a then-school-record 49 sacks. His teams led the NCAA in tackles for loss four seasons in a row from 2013-16.
  • Ben Boulware was a first-team All-ACC performer and second-team Walter Camp All-American in 2016, as well as ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Named one of the top-10 recruiters in the ACC in 2015 by Rivals. Was national defensive coordinator of the year by FootballScoop in 2014 and national recruiter of the year by Rivals in 2015.
  • Finalist for the 2015 Broyles Award after his defense was fourth nationally in third-down conversion percentage (27.7) and in sacks per game (3.2) and fifth in tackles for loss per game (8.4).
  • His 2014 defense led the nation in total defense (260.8), pass efficiency defense (98.3), first downs allowed (185), third-down conversion percentage defense (27.4) and tackles for loss (131).
  • His 2013 unit led the nation in tackles for loss (122).
  • Named one of the top-25 recruiters in the nation in 2013 by Rivals and one of the top-50 recruiters in the nation in 2013 by 247Sports.
  • His 2012 defense held opponents to just 34.0 percent on third down, 24th-best in the nation.
  • Coached 13 years (1999-11) at Oklahoma and three years (1996-98) at Kansas State. Was also a graduate assistant coach at Kansas State for three years (1993-95).
  • Served as co-defensive coordinator (1999-03) and defensive coordinator at Oklahoma (2004-11).
  • Linebackers under his direction were named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year five times and Big 12
  • Defensive Newcomer of the Year five times. Has coached two Butkus Award winners and four other
  • Butkus Award finalists, including O’Daniel and Lamar.
  • Broyles Award finalist in the 2006 season when Oklahoma led the Big 12 in total defense and scoring defense.
  • Oklahoma ranked first in the nation in total defense, first in passing defense, second in pass efficiency defense, third in scoring defense and fifth in turnover margin in 2003.
  • His 2001 defense was fourth in the nation in scoring defense, fourth in total defense, fifth in pass effiency defense and seventh in rushing defense.
  • Also owns a national championship ring as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Oklahoma in 2000.
  • As a player at Kansas State, he was Honorable Mention All-Big Eight in 1992 with 124 tackles. He was also an All-American at Garden City (Kan.) Community College who recorded 276 career tackles.

“Brent is intense, passionate, and relentless. He makes it a daily pursuit to be great. He coaches with great attention to detail to get the best out of his players each and every day.”

–Dabo Swinney


  • 2012-present: Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach Clemson University
  • 2004-2011: Associate Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach University of Oklahoma
  • 1999-2003: Co-Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers Coach University of Oklahoma
  • 1998: Defensive Running Game Coordinator, Linebackers Coach Kansas State University
  • 1996-97: Linebackers Coach Kansas State University
  • 1993-95: Graduate Assistant Kansas State University