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Ole Miss coordinator, Oklahoma alum Jeff Lebby emerges as the target to run Sooners' offense

An OU grad who got his start as a student-assistant coach in Norman, Lebby has emerged as one of college football's top offensive minds.

As University of Oklahoma officials conducted their search to find Lincoln Riley’s replacement atop the Sooners’ program, a key component of that process was a candidate’s potential staff. 

It was there where eventual choice Brent Venables stood out with his plan, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

Venables was formally announced by OU Sunday night as its new head coach, and sources have told FootballScoop that Venables has moved quickly to try to secure Jeff Lebby, a brilliant offensive tactician and rising star in the coaching ranks, as the Sooners’ new offensive coordinator. The two sides, per sources, are working towards an agreement that could be completed in the next 24 to 48 hours, per sources. 

A Broyles Award semifinalist for his work during the 2021 season, his second consecutive year to make the list, Lebby has been on a rapid rise through the coaching ranks in recent seasons from his work first at UCF and the past two seasons at Ole Miss

Lebby’s 2020 Rebels’ offense paced the high-octane Southeaster Conference and ranked third nationally in total yards at more than 555 yards per game; a year earlier, his final season at UCF, Lebby’s unit was the No. 2-ranked offense in all of college football.

Moreover, Lebby is an Oklahoma grad who traces his roots in coaching to his time as a student-assistant coach under legendary Bob Stoops in the Sooners’ program in the early-2000s.

Lebby was selected national running backs coach of the year by his peers in 2013. 

A Texas native who’s also worked at Baylor and then served as Southeastern’s offensive coordinator prior to his breakthrough job at UCF, Lebby has been courted by multiple teams in recent years for offensive coordinator positions, and numerous sources have told FootballScoop they expect Lebby to have a shot to become a head coach within the next five years.

“He’s the real deal, man,” said one former Lebby colleague. “The way he sees and calls a game … when he gets cooking, look out.”