Tigers’ defensive coordinator feels Clemson is too special of a place to leave for just any job
It is once again that time of the year where Brent Venables’ name comes up as a possible candidate for a vacant head coaching job.
Of course, Clemson’s defensive coordinator understands it comes with the territory considering his defenses have been ranked as one of the nation’s best, it seems, every year during his nine-year tenure in Tigertown.
On Monday, reports circulated Venables could be a possible replacement for Gus Malzahn, who was fired at Auburn on Sunday. When asked about his future and if he desires to be a head coach at some point, the Tigers’ longstanding defensive coach said he does not truly have the time at this time of the year to think about such things.
“You are so busy, to be honest, that you don’t really sit around and have a game plan for that,” he said on Monday. “We have a great situation for our team right now. Again, what is in front of us is where all the focus is right now.”
What is in front of Venables and the third-ranked Clemson is a date with No. 2 Notre Dame in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. At stake is more than just another conference title for the Tigers, there is also a berth in the College Football Playoff and an opportunity at another national championship.
Playing for a national championship every year has become the norm at Clemson rather than the exception, and that is one of the reasons why Venables finds leaving Clemson to be a head coach so hard to do.
If he does do it one day, he wants to make sure he does it for the right job and at a place that is every bit as special to him.
“I think it starts first with having an appreciation for what you do have,” Venables said. “The people that you work with, the players that you coach, where you live, where you coach, the opportunity to win. Certainly, I am well compensated, but it is a lot more than that for me. It is being in a place where you are valued, and you feel like you are bringing something to the table.
“I just have a gratefulness that maybe other people don’t. There are not many Clemsons. There are not many Oklahomas. Kansas State was home for me. So, I have been very fortunate to just be at a few places that are great opportunities for coaches.”
And that, Venables says, always gives him a clear perspective on what he truly needs instead of what he wants.
“That gives me clarity that way and maybe if I was in a cesspool or somewhere that was a hot mess, maybe that is different,” he said. “But I do value where I am at and who I am with and, again, what we are doing at Clemson. It is a special place.”
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