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New Oklahoma coach turns attention to players

Oklahoma head football coach Brent Venables answers a question at an NCAA college football news conference, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

By CLIFF BRUNT AP Sports Writer

NORMAN (AP) — Brent Venables already has received two Oklahoma welcomes fit for a king.

Hundreds of Sooners fans who watched coach Lincoln Riley leave for Southern California last week flocked to Norman’s airport on Sunday night to cheer the arrival of Venables, Riley’s replacement.

A day later, Oklahoma introduced Venables to a throng of energized fans at the Sooners’ indoor practice facility. The Sooner Schooner was on hand, cheerleaders pumped up the crowd and the band played. There were fire machines and streamers. Athletic director Joe Castiglione even handed Venables a pair of Air Jordan shoes.

Venables then explained in detail why bells and whistles aren’t what he’s about.

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