Brent Venables on staying at Clemson: "I fight every day to keep it"
|Thursday, December 14, 2017, 8:32 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Brent Venables’ name has been mentioned for several job openings over the years, but he said Thursday night that he fights to be a part of the Clemson family.
In a candid and honest interview with the media following Thursday’s practice, Venables opened up about his job opportunities, his time here at Clemson and the chances he’s had to leave. He told us Thursday that his focus hasn’t been on Arkansas or Tennessee or any other job openings – it’s been on getting the defense ready for Alabama.
“The rumor mill is everybody else spending the time on it. I know where my focus has been,” Venables said. “Once in a while, somebody calls and you accidentally picked it up and they talk to you and then you either decide to continue it or you don’t. Just like I tell recruits all the time, you’re in control of this process, it’s not the other way around. I’ve got an incredible job. I work with incredible young people and an incredible staff. What we have at Clemson is not the norm in a profession, let alone college football. The foundation, the alignment, the players, the healthy culture, the consistency, the focus, Coach Swinney and his leadership. He’s not looking over his shoulder at what’s better.
“He really embraces what we have as well. He does a great job of setting the temperature, letting our guys have fun, loving them and hugging on their neck and still disciplining them and getting after them and getting the best out of them and holding them accountable in every part of their life. Like I’ve said, myself and my family, we’re incredibly fortunate to be here. Coach Swinney believed in me and gave me and our family the opportunity to be a part of his family. I value that and I fight every day to keep it and fight to do our job on defense and me as a coordinator to do a good job for these players and these fans and this administration and this staff. It’s been the recruiting, that’s the stressful part.”
He then said that he gets challenged personally as well as professionally.
“Another part for me personally, I’m challenged daily as a husband, a father, a Christian, a coach because he’s done a great job of surrounding himself with a great staff, good men, great people, talented in their profession but really good at all the other thing things than being a coach,” Venables said. “I’m really blessed to be a part of that and to be exposed to that.”
He declined to mention which schools contacted him but did say that none of them were the right fit.
“I don't really need to. There were multiple interview and job opportunities,” Venables said. “And what I said, I meant. My focus has been here and there is nothing that was too good to pass up. Great opportunities, just not the right ones for me right now. Again, you never say never, but it doesn't get much better than what we have. I am thankful for what I have and I have a very good perspective on what we have and there are thousands of guys that would love to have a small chance to be a part of this program. It's a great situation."
Venables smiled a weary smile and said he is not a believer in the saying that “all good things must come to an end.”
“So, I get it and you don’t ever want to overstay your welcome anywhere but I feel like if the right people are keeping the right focus, good things don’t have to come to an end,” he said. “I don’t believe that. Everyone says all good things must come to an end. I don’t think so. I do think that the focus and having a guy like Coach Swinney with the relentless leadership he provides, he takes nothing for granted. Not his position, not the opportunities, not the next group of great players.
“Man he starts right over with them and then he’s even more relentless at reinforcing the vision, the philosophy, the fundamentals of the program more than anybody I’ve been around but he does it in a good, positive, encouraging way and for all of us you remain in this great level of humility as well because along the way is you see the programs through the years and they have the same group of people that sometimes can lose their edge, their ability to be innovative, lose their ability to appreciate what they have and not as fanatical and not the same chip on their shoulder and you start to surely but slowly see all those great empires and dynasties that are built over a long period time start crumbling down from within.”
He is a man that takes his loyalty – to his players, to his head coach and the school he works for – very seriously.
“It takes all of a year to build it up and an hour to have it torn down,” Venables said. “There’s something to that. Loyalty, what does that mean? To me it means love, respect, appreciation, and when you have those things then you’re fanatical and desperate to do a great job because you don’t want to let those around you down and I think that’s what we have as a selfless group of people at all levels in staff, players and administration that all understand that and feel for that.”
As for the rumors about him wanting the Kansas St. job, Venables said he’s in no hurry to replace a legend.
“I don't know. I don't know (laughing). Everybody says, 'He is going to Kansas St.' Look. nobody has more love and respect for the people there and Coach Snyder there, but do you want to be the guy to follow the modern-day Bear Bryant at Kansas St.? I don't know about that. They have plenty of quality people over there. Hopefully, Coach Snyder coaches another 10-plus years. He has been amazing and as an alumnus I am super-proud.
“I am a simple guy. I feel like I am a smart guy, too, to recognize a great situation. You want to be somewhere where you are valued, you feel like you are contributing and people recognize that. “We have the best of the best here. Players, coaching staff, people, administration, facilities, location, you can go on and on.”