Brent Venables, Dan Lanning Reportedly Drawing Interest for Oklahoma HC Job

Erin WalshDecember 4, 2021

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 27: Clemson Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables looks on during warm ups before their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 27, 2021 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning are reportedly drawing interest for Oklahoma's vacant head coaching position, according to ESPN

The position was previously filled by Lincoln Riley, who became head coach of the USC Trojans earlier this week. 

Venables previously served as an associate head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Sooners from 1999-2011 under Bob Stoops, who is currently serving as Oklahoma's interim head coach. 

Since joining Clemson, the 50-year-old has helped the team to two national titles (2016, 2018), in addition to six ACC championships. He also won the 2016 Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the nation. 

Several Oklahoma players also recently predicted Venables would be the team's next head coach in a YouTube video posted by Sooners punter Michael Turk.

"Who do I think is going to be the [next] head coach? I think Coach Venables," one player said. 

"I think it's going to be Venables," another Oklahoma player replied. "It might be Venables." 

Lanning, meanwhile, has spent the last three seasons as Georgia's defensive coordinator under Kirby Smart. In two of those three seasons, the Bulldogs have led the nation in total defense, per Sports Illustrated.

Lanning started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for Pittsburgh in 2011 before becoming a graduate assistant at Arizona State. He then was elevated to a recruiting coordinator in 2013 before becoming defensive backs coach and co-recruiting coordinator at Sam Houston State in 2014. 

The 35-year-old was also an inside linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Memphis in 2015. He began his career at Georgia as an outside linebackers coach in 2018 before being elevated to defensive coordinator in 2019. 

In addition to Venables and Lanning, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell and Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell are reportedly drawing interest from Oklahoma. 

Riley had been head coach of the Sooners since 2017. He announced his departure from the school shortly after the team's 37-33 loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 27.