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OU football set to hire Clemson's Todd Bates as co-defensive coordinator, according to reports

Ryan Aber
Oklahoman

NORMAN — Brent Venables is one step closer to completing his staff at OU.

According to multiple reports, Venables has added Clemson defensive tackles coach and recruiting coordinator Todd Bates to serve as co-defensive coordinator and defensive tackles coach with the Sooners.

Bates’ hiring was first reported by Tigers Illustrated.

The 38-year-old Bates began his collegiate coaching career at Idaho State in 2011 before stints at East Central (Mississippi) Community College and Jacksonville State. He joined Dabo Swinney’s and Venables’ defensive staff at Clemson in 2017.

Bates played defensive end for Alabama from 2001-04 before spending two seasons in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.

Bates joins defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Ted Roof, defensive ends coach Miguel Chavis and Thad Turnipseed, who will help with football operations, in joining Venables’ staff from Clemson.

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New OU defensive tackles coach Todd Bates worked with Sooners head coach Brent Venables’ defensive staff at Clemson.

Neither Turnipseed’s nor Bates’ hirings have been made official and it’s unclear exactly what title Turnipseed will hold with the Sooners.

Bates was recently given a $200,000 bump in pay at Clemson, to $715,000 annually, and was given the title of assistant head coach. His contract was also extended through the 2024 season.

Venables brought in Brandon Hall, an OU alum who had most recently been at Troy, to coach safeties. Hall and Bates coached together on the Jacksonville State staff from 2014-16.

There’s still one opening left on Venables staff — almost certainly a cornerbacks coach.

Offensively, Venables brought on Jeff Lebby to serve as offensive coordinator while retaining offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, tight ends/h-backs coach Joe Jon Finley, receivers coach Cale Gundy and running backs coach DeMarco Murray from Lincoln Riley’s staff.