The Clemson football program has been crafted into an elite-level machine and a lot of credit should be given to Brent Venables for that.
The Clemson football program is among the elites across the nation and the Tigers are proving that on the field.
Clemson has made five-straight CFB Playoff appearances, won two of the last three National Titles and will compete for a fourth time in the National Championship game in the last five years against LSU next Monday.
All of this success should certainly be credited to Dabo Swinney, who has ascended to become the top Head Coach in the country, but there should also be credit given to a man who stays out of the spotlight more times than: Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables.
The Clemson football program took on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Orange Bowl back during the 2011 season. The result was a 70-33 blowout that ended with Swinney making the decision to fire Kevin Steele and bring in Venables.
That decision would change the course and dynamic of the program in ways no one could have ever imagined.
Venables has ascended to the top, turning down several head coaching opportunities, and is now recognized as one of the top defensive minds in the country and easily the top defensive coordinator in the nation.
Because of the success he’s had on the field and along the recruiting trail, it’s clear to see why he is always considered a ‘dream candidate’ for open head coaching positions. Though many fanbases have maintained their interest in Venables, he has consistently told the media that he is happy right where he is and is enjoying being a part of the Clemson football program.
The value that Venables brings to the Tiger program can’t be overstated. Venables is currently the second-highest paid assistant coach in the nation, bringing in a salary of $2.2 million, but the Tigers need to attempt to keep him at all costs.
I expect Clemson to make him the highest-paid assistant in the nation again after this season- topping LSU’s Dave Aranda ($2.5 million)- and hopefully make a statement of appreciation to Venables.
Venables has been an integral part of the Tigers’ success and there’s no doubt Dabo Swinney wants to keep him around for as long as possible. Paying him at a high-clip is a small price to pay for what he brings to the table and what he has meant to the program.