Oklahoma Sooners

Neal Brown on Brent Venables: ‘He Has Contagious Energy’

The Oklahoma Sooners are one of three teams who introduced a new head coach at Big 12 Media Days on Thursday as Brent Venables spoke to national media for the first time since being hired in Norman.

After an opening statement that spanned seven minutes, it became clear to every media outlet in AT&T Stadium that Brent Venables’ energy and enthusiasm are never lacking. The Oklahoma head coach talks with a fervor that is hardly matched by a filibustering politician in Washington.

 

On Wednesday, West Virginia head coach Neal Brown spoke about Venables and the energy that the 51-year-old first-time head coach carries.

“I think he’s gonna be tremendous,” Brown said of Venables. “I got to know Brent when he was the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma and I was the offensive coordinator at Texas Tech. We were both here in the Greater Dallas area recruiting and really watched his career blossom. I was able to visit Clemson multiple times over the last five or six years and really have a ton of respect for how he goes about his program.

“He’s got contagious energy. He’s been extremely patient, which is something that I didn’t have in my career. But he had a great deal of patience, holding and having the confidence in himself that the right job was going to come along, and it’s a great fit. Oklahoma is a great fit for Brent Venables, and Brent Venables is a great fit for Oklahoma. He’s going to have a lot of success there, I have zero doubt.”

Brown went on to make an interesting comparison between Venables and another Big 12 coach who is relatively new to the head coaching ranks.

“I can remember there was a similar question about Dave Aranda last year,” Brown said. “I have a ton of respect for (Aranda), and that respect is not because he won the conference championship. It’s because of his pedigree, it’s because of who he is as a person. The question was about Baylor bouncing back and I said then, ‘I have no doubt that Dave Aranda is gonna be really successful at Baylor. And I feel just as strongly that Brent will have a lot of success there at OU.”

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