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Oklahoma Sooners Football Coach Builds Faith-Filled Team Culture

Oklahoma Sooners Football Coach Builds Faith-Filled Team Culture

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Oklahoma Sooners head football coach Brent Venables has spent the last two seasons redefining the team’s culture on and off the field. 

The coach is committed to building a community with Christ at its center, but becoming the Sooners’ coach wasn’t an easy journey.

“Only God could do this,” Venables said, per Fan Nation. “Those that know my background, having grown up in a very dysfunctional way, and putting me here as I stand before you as a head football coach at the University of Oklahoma, only God can do this. And so I just want to take this opportunity to thank the Lord.”

“I stand here, just in awe,” he said. “It was the coolest thing, getting off the plane last night to see the welcoming in hurricane-type wind, weather. Then have an opportunity just prior to that to visit with the team, get on the zoom with the players. That was my comfort zone there. And that was neat.”

“But to be able to wake up today and come into the office and have a team meeting today, I’m not sure when the last time I felt so fulfilled and excited,” he added. “And I just want to thank the players for being there today. And I want to tell you guys right now how thankful grateful and appreciative I am of you and to be your head football coach.”

In fact, at the first team meeting, Ethan Downs, a junior defensive lineman, told OU Daily that Venables read Scripture. 

“[Venables] starts reading Scripture, not to force the Bible on us, but to apply the morals of the Bible and how messages in the Bible unified people to make them stronger together, so even in our weaknesses, we are strong…He brings it in and says, ‘These messages in here can unify us and bring us together and can motivate us to really achieve something with each other,’” Downs explained.

Venables explained why he wanted to build the Oklahoma culture around faith. 

“When I went to Clemson a decade ago, and I was still employed by Oklahoma but I went to go visit and be a fly on the wall on that recruiting weekend, I was exposed to a very thorough in-house, life-skills and development program that they had set up. It was just an ‘aha’ moment,” he said.

He added, “I was overwhelmed spiritually…I’m looking around I’m like, ‘Is anybody else seeing this?’ Literally, these are things that I have talked about. Just, you know, anybody that was willing to listen, but putting it all together in the football space. It was not necessarily something that people did, you know, intentionally or did beyond just kind of putting lipstick on it, if you will, or say, checking a box.”

“And so I felt the genuineness and probably knowing somebody’s why, you know, and the intentions — and not just having good people, but good people with the right intentions,” he said. “And so and so for me, I was like…that’s got to be the backbone of the program, in my opinion…If you make it all about just winning and chasing championships, it’s gonna be a very unfulfilling journey.” 

“It’s a leadership initiative program. It’s all encompassing. Their manhood. Mentorship. There’s a spiritual aspect,” the coach concluded. “Shame on us if we don’t provide opportunities for young people to grow in their faith. I’m not here to save everybody, but I do have values. I’m a Christian, and I’m not afraid to profess my beliefs.”

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.