Valai hire official, Venables staff finalized

It was enough to wait for the national championship to be played before Oklahoma could officially finalize their coaching staff.

Former Alabama Cornerback Coach Jay valai is coming to OU to be the defensive / pass defense co-coordinator where he will coach cornerbacks and nickelbacks, it was announced by OU in a press release on Tuesday night.

“Jay is one of the promising coaches in college football. He brings a tremendous amount of passion and energy to his job, as well as a genuine love for the game and for building relationships,” said the head coach. Brent Venables in the output. “He experienced the game collegially at the highest level as a player in Wisconsin and gained tremendous coaching experience at the NFL and college levels.

“He’ll bring a lot of great ideas from a program perspective, he’s one of the best teachers in the game and he has a great reputation as a recruiter. He will become head coach as soon as possible. Sometimes you know when guys have it, and Jay definitely has it.

“He loves his job and is mature beyond his years when it comes to X’s and O’s and teaching all defensive positions. I have just been attracted by his thirst for knowledge and his great sense of humility. He asked me if I bothered to become one of his mentors and I was just honored. I loved his hunger and tenacity and how much he had a good advantage over him. Really excited for Jay, his wife and kids to arrive in Norman. Our players will love his expertise, his passion and his ability to connect.

Valai spent the past year with the Crimson Tide, helping Alabama advance to the National Championship game. Before that, it was a year in Texas (2020 and a year at Rutgers (2018), among other stops.

He is the final piece of the Venables puzzle.

“Coach Venables and I met on the recruiting route years ago and he’s always been great with me as a mentor,” Valai said in the statement. “We both love football so much and I loved talking about the nuances of the game with him. Just back and forth with ideas and thoughts, schema adjustments, etc. We just really clicked.

“But I also admire his passion a lot. It’s one thing you can’t hide in life, and Coach Venables is one of the most passionate and genuine human beings you will ever meet.

“Having the opportunity to be closer to home working for an Oklahoma program that I grew up watching while living in Dallas and working with Brent and being a cook in the kitchen with him is special I’m excited It’s more than a blessing to be a part of Sooner Nation.

Valai joins defensive coach Miguel chavis, safety coach Brandon Room and Associate Head Coach / Co-DC / Defensive Line Coach Todd bates to the OU. Roof Ted is the defensive coordinator and will coach the linebackers.

Offensively, not a lot of changes for the old staff. Jeff Lebby now calls the shots as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

There are no other new names. By Marco Murray among ball carriers, Cale Gundy to large receivers, Joe jon finley with tight ends and Bill bedenbaugh run the offensive line.

And welcome back Jerry schmidt as the man responsible for strength and conditioning.

It has been a long process and the six weeks might have seemed eternal to some since Lincoln Riley’s departure for USC. But it’s done. Venables is in charge. The staff is fixed. Onwards until 2022. OU classes begin next Tuesday.

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