Sooners part ways with defensive coordinator Ted Roof

Sooners part ways with defensive coordinator Ted Roof

The Sooners will enter the SEC with new defensive and offensive coordinators.

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

| Jan 4, 2024, 4:10pm CST

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

Jan 4, 2024, 4:10pm CST

NORMAN — Oklahoma defensive coordinator Ted Roof will not return to the program in 2024, leaving the Sooners searching for a new defensive play-caller as they enter the SEC in the fall.

The program announced Thursday afternoon that Roof and coach Brent Venables have “mutually agreed to part ways” after the 60-year-old coordinator spent two seasons leading OU’s defense in 2022 and 2023. Per a release, a search to fill the vacancy will begin immediately. 

“I have the utmost respect and appreciation for Ted,” Venables said in a statement. “I told him Wednesday I made a decision to go in a new direction at defensive coordinator and offered him an opportunity to remain on our staff in a different role. He explained that he has a deep desire to keep coaching and will look to do that at a different school.”

Arriving six weeks after Jeff Lebby’s exit, Roof’s departure means the Sooners will have had to replace both of their coordinators ahead of the 2024 season. Venables promoted from within for his last offensive coordinator opening when he elevated Seth Littrell and Joe Jon Finley as co-coordinators in late November.

Roof was a key piece when he joined OU from Clemson on Venables’ inaugural coaching staff with the Sooners. The former Duke head coach and long-time coordinator oversaw an OU defense that struggled mightily in Year 1 before improving in 2023, jumping from 98th (30.0 PPG) in scoring defense to 46th (23.5) this past fall as the Sooners chartered a 10-3 finish to Venables’ second season.

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Eli Lederman reports on the University of Oklahoma for Sellout Crowd. He began his professional career covering the University of Missouri with the Columbia Missourian and later worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before two years writing on the Sooners and Cowboys at the Tulsa World. Born and raised in Mamaroneck, New York, Lederman grew up a rabid consumer of the New York sports pages and an avid fan of the New York Mets. He entered sportswriting at 14 years old and later graduated from the University of Missouri. Away from the keyboard, he can usually be found exploring the Oklahoma City food scene or watching/playing fútbol (read: soccer). He can be reached at [email protected].

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