Position: Associate Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers
• In his 25 years as a full-time assistant coach, his teams have 25 winning seasons, have been to 29 bowl games and have won 10+ games 21 times.
• Has coached in eight national championship games, helping Clemson to four berths and two titles. Also has a 13-2 mark in 15 conference championship games in which he’s coached, including a 6-0 record in ACC Championship Games with Clemson.
• Guided Clemson as it led the ACC in total defense (326.8 yards per game) in 2020 for the fourth time in five years.
• His 2020 group produced 46 sacks, tied for the most in the nation, despite no single player producing more than 4.5. A total of 21 Clemson players contributed at least half a sack, the most in the country and the most in a season in the Dabo Swinney era.
• Helped linebacker Isaiah Simmons earn the 2019 Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. Simmons was Venables’ seventh career Butkus finalist and third career Butkus winner. Simmons earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019 as one of Clemson’s eight All-ACC selections on defense.
• Coordinated a 2019 unit that did not allow its first 12 opponents to reach 300 yards, the first unit on record since 1996 to do so. Clemson finished in the Top 10 in total defense (228.3 yards per game) for a sixth straight season, the longest active streak in the country, and finished third in the country in scoring defense (13.5 points per game).
• Helped Clemson hold opponents to 20 or fewer points in 16 consecutive games across the 2018-19 seasons. A streak of that length had not occurred at Clemson in 79 years, when Hall of Fame coaches Jess Neely and Frank Howard combined for a 31-game streak across the 1937-40 seasons.
• Led the country in scoring defense (13.1 points per game) for the first time in school history in 2018. Ranked fourth in rushing defense (96.3 yards per game), fifth in total defense (285.9 yards per game).
• 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 linebackers Dorian O’Daniel (2017) and Tre Lamar (2018) earn Butkus Award finalist selections.
• 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.
• Was FootballScoop’s Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2014 and Rivals’ Recruiter of the Year in 2015.
• Finalist for the 2015 Broyles Award after his defense finished 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 Rivals’ top-25 recruiters in the nation in 2013 and one of 247Sports’ top-50 recruiters in the nation in 2013.
• Coached 13 years (1999-11) at Oklahoma and three years (1996-98) at Kansas State. Was a graduate assistant 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 three Butkus Award winners and among seven total Butkus Award finalists in his career.
• 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.
September 17, 2021
September 16, 2021