Oklahoma and coach Brent Venables have agreed to a six-year contract extension through the 2029 season that bumps Venables' total pay to $49.65 million, according to 247Sports. The Sooners are less than two weeks away from officially joining the SEC in all sports on July 1 ahead of the 2024 season. 

The average annual value of Venables' new deal hovers around $8.28 million. He will make $8.15 million in 2024 after earning $7.1 million a year ago. 

Venables, a former defensive coordinator and associate head coach at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops, was in the third year of a six-year contract paying him a fully guaranteed $43.5 million. He became a hot name in the coaching market while serving as defensive coordinator at Clemson from 2012-21, and Venables finally made the jump up in 2022 by returning to the Sooners to replace Lincoln Riley. He is 16-10 through two seasons with the Sooners, including a 10-8 record in Big 12 play. 

Oklahoma struggled to a 6-7 record in Venables' first season, its lowest win total since 1998, but bounced back in 2023 by winning 10 games and finishing No. 15 in the final AP Top 25. The Sooners are 0-2 in two bowl appearances under Venables, who was No. 34 in CBS Sports' ranking of the Power Four coaches entering the 2024 season. 

Key to that turnaround has been Oklahoma's continued improvement on the defensive side of the ball. The Sooners finished eighth in the Big 12 in scoring defense while allowing 29.6 points per game in 2022 but improved that figure to 22.3 in 2023, which ranked fourth among conference teams. 

Venables has emphasized defense via recruiting, both through the transfer portal and from the high school ranks. The Sooners have signed three five-star prospects under Venables; two play along the defensive line of scrimmage. They're also the first five-star defenders to sign with Oklahoma since 2018. 

Eight of Oklahoma's 17 transfer additions ahead of the 2023 season where either defensive linemen or linebackers. The Sooners signed a pair of four-star front seven players during the 2024 transfer cycle in edge rusher Caiden Woullard (Miami (OH)) and defensive lineman Damonic Williams (TCU). 

That approach to building from the ground up should benefit Venables and Oklahoma as they move to the SEC given the conference's noted physicality and the presence of programs like Georgia, which pump out NFL-caliber linemen on a year-to-year basis.