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.
"We're thrilled to welcome to our staff maybe the hottest offensive coordinator in college football," Venables said of Lebby as his hiring was made official Friday. "... Jeff's offenses and the players he's coached are some of the most productive in the game. He's going to bring a dynamic and diverse system that will take advantage of our playmakers."
In addition to Lebby, the Sooners on Friday also announced the hiring of defensive coordinator Ted Roof, a former head coach at Duke who has served as defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Penn State, Auburn, Minnesota and other stops.
Roof led Auburn's defense in 2010 when the team won a national title.
"Ted is one of the most experienced coordinators and one of the best teachers in all of college football, and he's done it in some of the premier conferences in the sport - the SEC, Big Ten and ACC," Venables said. "He has a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience. ... We're fortunate to have a person of his stature lead our defense, and he's going to make us stronger and tougher on that side of the ball."
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.
Venables also is retaining four assistants from Riley's staff: Cale Gundy (inside receivers), Bill Bedenbaugh (offensive line), DeMarco Murray (running backs) and Joe Jon Finley (tight ends).
ESPN's Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.