Clemson DC Brent Venables: Not actively pursuing Texas Tech head-coaching job

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said he's spoken with Texas Tech athletics director Kirby Hocutt, but said he's not actively pursuing the Red Raiders head-coaching job.

Venables and Hocutt were college teammates at Kansas State, where both were linebackers. They've been close friends since, and that relationship has put Venables' name near the top of the list of possible replacements for Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired as Texas Tech's coach after Saturday's loss to Baylor.

"I talk to Kirby a lot," Venables said Monday. "And I've talked to him recently. That's all I'll say."

Venables, who signed a new contract with Clemson in July worth $11.6 million over five years, has annually been linked to head-coaching vacancies but has been reluctant to leave Clemson, and he said that reluctance is even greater now that his son, Jake, is a freshman on the team.

"Just so people understand where I'm at right now, my son, Jake, is here, and he's chasing a dream," Venables said. "I sold this dream to him. My responsibility as a dad is to support him for as long as he wants to chase his dreams. Who am I to be a hypocrite regardless of what opportunities are out there."

Venables' defense is again ranked among the best in the nation, and Clemson needs only to beat 7-5 Pittsburgh in the ACC championship game on Saturday to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff for the fourth straight year. Venables said he routinely speaks with his agent, but that his priority remains coaching Clemson to a national title.

"I'd never compromise the integrity of my job for other opportunities -- ever," Venables said. "That's not who I am."