Brian Venables looks on during an Oklahoma game.
Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Oklahoma HC Brent Venables Announces Wife, Julie, Has Breast Cancer

Oklahoma head coach Brent Venables told reporters his wife, Julie, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery in July.

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Sooners head coach Brent Venables announced that his wife, Julie, is battling breast cancer.

In the same update, Venables mentioned that Julie had surgery on Friday in New Orleans and the belief that, since it's not in her lymph nodes, things are trending positively. He also mentioned he's been traveling back and forth between Norman, Oklahoma, and New Orleans to be with her during this time.

"We got a diagnosis on June 16th that knocks you off your feet. It takes me to talking to my mother in January 2005, having a stage four conversation. There's no blueprint on how you handle it," Venables said in the above clip. "Our sanctuary and our true shelters of faith, the power of prayer — so much support. We appreciate everyone here who has reached out. It's been nothing short of amazing. The group of people who have helped: the doctors, the administration, our staff, our players, our players' parents, and certainly Sooner Nation. That's been great."

"We're hopeful that we got everything and we can maybe avoid further treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. We'll find that out in the next couple days," Venables said. "We think it's not in her lymph nodes, so that's a good thing in the cancer world. So now it's about what's contained. So now we're trying to strengthen her and get her back."

Julie and Brent were married in 1997 after meeting at Kansas State in the 1990s, and they share four children: Jake, Tyler, Laney and Addie. Tyler is currently a senior on the Clemson football team.

"She's tough. As I said, she's a honey badger," Venables said. "She's got a medical background. A former nurse. She already knows the answer to the question, so you better get it right, doc. She's amazing."

Brent Venables runs on to the field with Oklahoma.

Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Venables, 52, is entering his second season as the Sooners head coach, and this is his first head coaching gig. Before Oklahoma, he worked in various defensive coaching roles with the Clemson, Kansas State and Oklahoma between 1999 and 2011.

Year one for the Venables likely didn't go as well as he had hoped, with a 6-7 record in 2022. But with the move to the Southeastern Conference coming, Venables will look to bring the Sooners back to prominence as he handles this difficult time with his family.

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