Posted by Chip Patterson
Brent Venables made a very difficult decision to leave Oklahoma and accept the open defensive coordinator position at Clemson. But the school made the decision much easier, reportedly rewarding Venables with a multi-year deal that will reportedly pay nearly $800,000 per season. That figure would make Venables the No. 3 most-compensated assistant coach nationally in 2012, just behind Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.
But Venables joins a staff that includes the nation's No. 1 compensated assistant: offensive coordinator Chad Morris. In December, Morris agreed to a new deal with $1.3 million annually over six years. With Gus Malzahn accepting the head coaching position at Arkansas State, Morris moved into the top spot.
"We are getting one of the top coordinators in the nation," head coach Dabo Swinney said in regards to Venables' arrival. "I appreciate the commitment from the Clemson administration. This hire shows everyone at Clemson wants us to be the best we can possibly be."
With the No. 1 and No. 3 highest paid assistants on the staff, there will be expectations for on-field results from the school. The Tigers just won their first ACC Championship since 1991. With this kind of investment from the school, competing for conference titles are now the norm. If Clemson is not in the ACC Atlantic Division title hunt each season with this staff, the fan base will let their displeasure known. After this kind of investment, no one will accept "Clemson pulling a Clemson."
CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik pointed out Clemson's 8-0 start as one reason for the investment in the football program. University president James Barker was impressed by the campus energy and increase in undergraduate applications during the Tigers' fast start this fall. Clemson is just another example of a school using their football program to expose the university on a national level.
For more on Brent Venables and Clemson, follow Travis Sawchik and Tigers RapidReports
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