As one of the top defensive coordinators in college football the past few seasons, Brent Venables has fielded more than a few phone calls about solid Power 5 conference head coaching jobs the past few off seasons.
At the Orange Bowl presser earlier this week, Venables made it clear that he loves what he does at Clemson…and it’s clearly not just your typical coach-speak. This comes right from Venable’s heart.
“I love my job, I love where I work, who I work with, and the players that I coach. I love the simplicity of what I do. I really value being somewhere where you can win, and be successful. To me, that, ultimately along with the people that you work with, defines fulfillment and happiness.”
Venables has been a college coach since his days as a Kansas State player came to an end in the early 90’s, and he noted that he’s seen his fair share of assistants leave for head coaching opportunities that weren’t right for them. For someone that has been coaching at the college level since 1993, Venables has had just three different stops on his coaching journey, a rarity in the college coaching ranks.
“I have seen so many coaches out there that prostitute themselves up the corporate, proverbial, ladder and try to go to this job, and this job. I have moved twice. The first times wasn’t so bad. Emotionally, it was tough leaving Kansas State to go to Oklahoma, but I didn’t have my family. I had my wife and that was it, so I didn’t think it would be a really big deal.”
Venables added that leaving Oklahoma and going to Clemson was incredibly hard on him “emotionally, physically, and spiritually,” but he was lucky to leave a great place in Norman, and land on his feet in another great place at Clemson.
“I really believe that my job is better than a majority of head coaching jobs that are out there. I have been consumed zero with the idea of trying to position myself to be a head coach. It’s like one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ things. I’ve seen it. I have been on staffs where you had a bunch of guys that were going to take that job. You can be a super coach, a five-star coach, but there are a lot of other outside factors that determine your success. There are not many places where you can have it all. I believe that I have been at a few places I have had it all, and I don’t want to let it go.”
“There are a lot of people, not just in the coaching profession, that don’t feel that way about their jobs, and I do. So why would I jeopardize that. Maybe that is being on the safe side of it, but I don’t need to be overly ambitious.”
“I’m trying to make Clemson as good as we can be. To field a great defense and coach great players and to have a quality of life for my family…and we have it all. I’m just not really that interested in screwing that up.”