Venables, who has spent the last 13 years in Norman, Okla. with the Sooners, will take over for former defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
Sources confirmed to CUTigers late Wednesday evening Venables informed Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops of his decision, as well as Dabo Swinney after going back and forth about the potential move most of the evening.
Venables has also begun the process of calling his players and current Oklahoma verbal commitments.
Sources tell CUTigers Dabo Swinney wants to have Venables on the road recruiting for Clemson next week. In addition, Venables is expected to be introduced as Clemson's defensive coordinator in a Friday afternoon press conference at the West End Zone.
Venables is the second significant hire for Dabo Swinney in as many years. Last January, Swinney brought on offensive coordinator Chad Morris after a sensational season at Tulsa.
Morris helped Clemson set single season records for points, touchdowns and total yards in 2011 all while leading the Tigers to their first ACC Championship in 20 years.
Meanwhile, Venables, 41, has coached in four BCS Championship Games, including winning one National Championship during his time with the SOoners.
He last led Oklahoma to a top 10 national ranking in total defense in 2009.
OU finished 33rd and 31st in each of the last years in scoring defense, suffering through a rash of injuries in the pass-happy Big 12.
The 13-year Oklahoma assistant was recently named the Sooners' "co-coordinator" after head coach Bob Stoops hired his brother, Mike, to share the role with Venables.
That move has increased speculation in recent weeks Venables would be open to taking another defensive coordinator job elsewhere.
In fact, he removed his name from the same opening at West Virginia just last week.
Venables made $440,000/year in Norman, but he will receive a substantial bump in salary at Clemson - possibly close to $800,000.
His 2007 defense was No. 2 in Big 12 scoring (No. 5 NCAA) and total (No. 19 NCAA) defense despite facing four of the nation's top-nine offenses, three of the top five. OU defense led Big 12 in sacks (32) and scored six TDs.
Venables was a Broyles finalist 2006 when OU led the Big 12 in total (No. 16 NCAA), scoring (No. 19 NCAA) and pass efficiency defense (No. 13 NCAA) and was No. 2 in rushing defense (No. 16 NCAA) and No. 6 nationally with 32 takeaways.
In 2005, OU's NCAA rank was No. 4 in rush, No. 13 in total defense.
Venables to Clemson
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