The contract for new Oklahoma Sooners football coach Brent Venables is worth $43.5 million over six years, sources told ESPN on Friday, making it one of the richest contracts for a first-year head coach in college football history.
The Oklahoma University Board of Regents still has to approve the deal, which averages $7.25 million annually and runs through the 2027 season. Venables’ salary will increase by $100,000 each year through the life of the contract and he would collect a $400,000 bonus for winning the national championship, sources told ESPN.
Venables was a major part of Clemson‘s championship run under Dabo Swinney and was the highest-paid defensive coordinator in college football at $2.5 million a year. Venables turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities while at Clemson before returning to Oklahoma, where he worked from 1999 to 2011 as co-defensive coordinator and then defensive coordinator.
The Sooners also are paying big money for their offensive coordinator. Jeff Lebby, who spent the past two seasons as Ole Miss‘ coordinator, is set to earn just under $2 million annually, sources told ESPN.
Venables, 50, replaced Lincoln Riley, who left this month to take the USC head-coaching job. Former OU head coach Bob Stoops, recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, will coach the Sooners in the bowl game.