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Oklahoma's Linebacker Coach Search Rages On: Who Is Your #1 Pick?

With the departure of Willie Martinez and now Brent Venables, there are vacancies to fill. The first would have been a defensive backs coach. That hole was covered with the announcement that Mike Stoops would be reunited with his brother Bob Stoops at the University of Oklahoma. While the debate will never truly be resolved, this is possibly the move that resulted in Venables reaching out to the Clemson Tigers. With Venables officially gone, and Mike officially on staff with the label of co-defensive coordinator, it was a simply move to make in dropping the "co" and letting him be the sole possessor of the DC title. So that leaves one opening, the linebackers coach, something Venables had on lockdown and excelled at.

However, there are a few guidelines fans would like to see The first and foremost priority is recruiting. The new hire must be and established recruiter and have a solid recruiting area to dip into. Oklahoma is a fairly easy brand to sell, but it is still something that comes natural or must be forced by the recruiter. Venables certainly had that natural talent and leaves OU as one of the most respected and most highly regarded coaches at the school.

With this being a must in terms of priorities, who are you more prone to hire? Take a look at the potential options that will make their way onto the table after the jump.

1) Tim Kish - Former Arizona Interim Head Coach

Some will consider Kish to be the front-runner or best option in the search. He has built a reputation as being one of the better recruiters in the nation, but that was back in 2004-2006. Has he shied away from the recruiting trail to focus on other aspects of the game? If we are to look only at recruiting, Kish lacks a connection into the plush land of Texas. Yet, he makes up for that in his in routes to the even greener lands of the west coast. In terms of being a position coach, Kish is a solid candidate. He has proven that he knows how to coach the position but even more is that he already knows the ins and outs of Mike Stoops scheme. Something that will go a long way as it will not have to be learned but can be implemented immediately.

2) Tony Tademy - Current Linebacker Coach at Texas Christian University

TCU has built a reputation of being very good defensively. After seven years in the position, there could be a move in the shadows for Tademy looking for something new or something bigger and better. Oklahoma is definitely enough to entice someone who has built a reputation as being one of the best linebacker coaches in the nation and wants to prove it. But even bigger for Tademy is his ability to recruit in the Houston area. He has brought solid talent in while recruiting against Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M just to name a few. If he can do what he has done at TCU, imagine what he would be capable of doing at a storied program like OU!

3) Tyrone Nix - Former Ole Miss Defensive Coordinator

Nix has a great handle on the linebacker position seeing as it was the position he played at Southern Miss. He has certainly shown that he has promise at coaching the position. If the staff is looking for a younger guy with a passion for the recruiting trail, Nix fits the bill. He has recruited a few NFL caliber players and has deep ties to the Southwest, an area know for producing the defense. The icing on the cake here is that Nix has already had an interview. It does not mean that he is the best fit, but it might be safe to assume Nix will make the shortlist when all is said and done.

4) Oklahoma Has The Opportunity To Once Again Look At A Special Teams Coach

Yes, this does mean the LB position will get the short end of the stick but the way special teams has failed OU and Bob Stoops recently, there is a concern there. Now, just like before with the Buce Kittle promotion, Oklahoma has to chance to scoop up a special teams coach. Will it happen? If I were a betting man, I'd put my bet at 0% this move happens but it is an option.