Every year, when there is a coaching vacancy at a major program, it seems that one candidate pops up more often than not: Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
Under Venables, the Tigers have made three straight College Football Playoff appearances, winning the national championship last season. After six years at his post, the 46-year-old’s stock has never been higher.
So why hasn’t Venables, who is the second-highest paid assistant coach in FBS ($1.7 million/year) taken the opportunity to lead his own program? Through TigerNet.com, we were able to get a peek into his thought process and to see why he has remained in Clemson, even though other programs – most recently Arkansas and Tennessee – have come calling.
The foundation, the alignment, the players, the healthy culture, the consistency, the focus, Coach Swinney and his leadership…He does a great job of setting the temperature, letting our guys have fun, loving them and hugging on their neck and still disciplining them and getting after them and getting the best out of them and holding them accountable in every part of their life. Like I’ve said, myself and my family, we’re incredibly fortunate to be here.
So what if the right opportunity does come around for Venables? Would he depart?
[Y]ou never say never, but it doesn’t get much better than what we have. I am thankful for what I have and I have a very good perspective on what we have and there are thousands of guys that would love to have a small chance to be a part of this program. It’s a great situation.
Venables has certainly made his mark as one of the top assistants in all of college football. A second national championship in as many years would further add to that legacy.