Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables has been known for his passion and intensity on the sidelines for nearly three decades now, yet in the past he has always worked with one side of the football.
As a defensive coordinator at Oklahoma and Clemson, Venables would often find himself a yard or two out onto the field while trying to get a call out to his players to get them aligned correctly. That resulted in Clemson employing their S&C coach, Adam Smotherman, as a “get-back” coach. His one and only job was to follow the fiery defensive coordinator around and keep him out of the area needed for officials to work.
As you can imagine, this isn’t an easy job.
For the first time in his career, Venables will be responsible everything that goes down on the field, but he also won’t be calling plays anymore. So, does he need a “get-back” coach?
“We’ve not discussed a get-back,” Venables said. “I seem to be in control of my role that I’ve had for a long time. Never had a penalty and my guys play at a high level. So that’s gotta stand for something. There’s more that’s on my plate. I’ve got to help manage a game and morale and motivate and special teams. There’s a lot of different things. I’ve got coaches that are gonna help in all those areas, but ultimately it’s my responsibility.”
Venables’ passion is part of what makes him who he is, and why he’s had the success that he’s had over the last three decades. That isn’t about to change, with or with out a get-back coach.
“I’m a passionate, intense coach,” Venables said during media availability. “That’s just me. I know that my players are gonna look at me to lead. I get that. I want my guys to play with intensity, emotion and passion — all controlled. Whatever that looks like, I literally have not thought about it at all.”
The coaching style that Venables implements on the sidelines is something that will definitely bleed over into the way that his players operate on the field, and he hopes his example is what helps that come to fruition.
“I’m looking for the right stuff from all of my players in every phase of the game,” Venables said. “To play with great effort. To play tough and physical and respond. Passion and intensity are great equalizers on the field, but it’s gotta be a controlled intensity. I think that’s important that I set that example for them.”
Oklahoma is set to kickoff its 2022 season against UTEP on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT.