Bates quickly thanks Swinney, focuses on relationship with Venables

Bates quickly thanks Swinney, focuses on relationship with Venables


Bates quickly thanks Swinney, focuses on relationship with Venables


Todd Bates’ departure from Clemson’s coaching staff is official.

Oklahoma on Tuesday announced the hiring of Bates, who spent the last five seasons coaching Clemson’s defensive tackles. He also served as the Tigers’ recruiting coordinator and was recently promoted to assistant head coach following Tony Elliott’s departure.

Bates will reunite with Clemson’s former defensive coordinator, Brent Venables, who was hired as OU’s head coach in December. In a statement released through OU, Bates expressed gratitude to coach Swinney, but the statement focused almost entirely on coach Venables.

“First, I want to thank Coach Swinney for the great opportunity he gave me at Clemson,” said Bates, who will be the Sooners’ co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach. “I moved out there five years ago, and he introduced me to Coach Venables.”

Since that time, Bates said, he has been working “hand in hand” with Venables. Bates said he was “immediately” interested in joining Venables’ staff at OU given their relationship and what he’s learned from Venables over the years.

“Chiefly to ‘take pride in what you do and one day you’ll be proud of what you’ve done,'” Bates said. “I just look forward to rolling my sleeves up and going straight to work and building relationships. That’s what this profession is all about. It’s about the relationships you build with players and the lives you touch. I look forward to continuing that here with Coach V.

“I’ve learned so many other lessons from him, and not just in football. Just putting your all into everything you do and maximizing everything; try to get a dollar out of a dime. I heard him say one time that his biggest fear is that one of his players isn’t ready. We’re as hungry for their success as they are. When kids choose to come to your school, their parents are trusting you to max them out, to squeeze every ounce of ability out of them. That’s what Brent did at Clemson, what he did at OU previously, and what he’ll continue to do as head coach. He makes everyone around him better. I’m just looking forward to helping him build this thing and impacting the lives of young men who are already at OU and the future Sooners who are on the way.”

Bates is the latest assistant Swinney has to replace on his staff. He promoted from within for his offensive and defensive coordinators, hiring Brandon Streeter and Wesley Goodwin in those roles, respectively.

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