OU football hires Ted Roof as defensive coordinator, Jeff Lebby as offensive coordinator
NORMAN — Ted Roof will be OU's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, inside receivers coach Cale Gundy, tight ends/H-backs coach Joe Jon Finley and running backs coach DeMarco Murray were retained.
Bob Stoops, the Sooners' interim coach, will lead OU in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 29.
Roof, the former Duke head coach, spent the 2021 season as a defensive analyst at Clemson with Venables as defensive coordinator.
He's led defenses at Georgia Tech, Duke, Minnesota, Auburn, UCF, Penn State, North Carolina State, Appalachian State and Vanderbilt over a career that stretches 35 years.
Roof was named interim coach at Duke midway through the 2003 season following Carl Franks' firing and ultimately earned the job full-time before being fired in late 2007 after the Blue Devils compiled a 6-45 record in his tenure.
He was Auburn's defensive coordinator during its 2010 national championship season.
Roof, a Lawrenceville, Georgia, native, was a three-year starter at Georgia Tech, earning freshman All-America honors in 1982 and was a team captain and first-team All-ACC linebacker in 1985 as a senior. He remains in the top 10 at Georgia Tech in career tackles and was inducted into the school's athletics hall of fame in 1998.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Alabama in 1987-88 after a brief NFL career with Tampa Bay.
Lebby has been Ole Miss' offensive coordinator the last two seasons after spending the previous season as Josh Heupel's offensive coordinator at UCF in 2019.
Over the last three seasons, his offenses have each ranked in the top four nationally in total offense and in the top 20 in scoring offense.
Lebby's 2019 UCF offense was one of only two nationally to average more than 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards per game that season. The other was OU.
Lebby spent the 2017 season as offensive coordinator at Southeastern University, an NAIA school in Lakeland, Florida.
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His drop to NAIA came after a stint at Baylor, ending when head coach Art Briles was fired amid a sexual-assault scandal. Lebby was named by a Baylor student as one of the coaches who took no action against Bears running back Devin Chafin after she reported being assaulted by him.
In the aftermath of Briles' firing, Lebby publicly defended Briles, his father-in-law, selling shirts the the #CAB hashtag (Coach Art Briles) to show support.
"Like with all potential coaching staff, we vetted him from every angle, on and off the field," OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said in a statement. "We understand why additional questions have been raised around his candidacy, which is why we did our due diligence, completed a thorough review and background check, and spoke to his previous employers throughout the process. The reports we received from Baylor, UCF and Ole Miss were consistent — they spoke highly of him as a person, his relationships with the programs as well as how he develops his players, his recruiting ability and, of course, his football acumen.
"At every turn throughout our review, we received assurance of the content of his character, his commitment to compliance and safety, and his desire to contribute to the development of winning programs in the manner we expect of all our staff. In speaking with Jeff, it is abundantly clear that he also knows and will embrace OU's expectations of him both on and off the field. We're glad to welcome him aboard."
Lebby was an offensive lineman with the Sooners, part of the 2002 recruiting class. His playing career was cut short due to injury and he transitioned into a role as a student assistant for four years.
"I'm honored by the opportunity I've been given to represent one of the most important programs in college athletics," Lebby said in a statement. "My experiences at Baylor will inform my perspective for the rest of my life, on and off the field. It will be a privilege to work with Coach Venables and Joe Castiglione. These are two men I believe in and have the greatest respect for — I have the utmost confidence in their administrative leadership. OU's athletics programs have always demanded the best and I will work every day to earn the trust they have placed in me to represent this institution."