- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has won the Broyles Award, given annually to the top assistant coach in college football.

Venables was a finalist for the third time for the award, which is named after former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles.

The 45-year-old helped the Tigers (12-1) return to the College Football Playoff for a second straight year this season, guiding a defense that was ninth in the country while allowing an average of 313.9 yards per game. He did so despite losing seven defensive starters from a season ago, when Clemson lost to Alabama in the national championship game.

The second-seeded Tigers face Ohio State in the semifinals at the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31.

Other finalists included Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, Michigan defensive coordinator Dan Brown and Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

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