Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele speaks to members of the media Sunday, August 6, 2023.

Report: Alabama DC Kevin Steele to retire

Kevin Steele, a former head coach at Baylor who had three different stints on Alabama’s defensive staff during a 40-year coaching career, is planning to retire, ESPN reported Monday night.

Steele spent the 2023 season as Alabama’s defensive coordinator, leaving a high-profile opening for Nick Saban to fill on his staff.

Steele will turn 66 in March and has nearly spent his entire adult life coaching football, almost exclusively at the Division I college level apart from joining the expansion Carolina Panthers as their linebackers coach for four years.

After his stay with the Panthers, Steele was hired by Baylor in 1999. The Bears went 9-36 and just 1-31 in the Big 12 during his four seasons.

Steele played linebacker at Tennessee and began his coaching career there as a student and graduate assistant. He went on to work for three other Southeastern Conference programs — Alabama, Auburn and LSU.

Steele was Alabama’s defensive coordinator in 2007 and defensive head coach/inside linebackers coach in 2008. He was director of player personnel for the Crimson Tide in 2013 and linebackers coach in 2014.

After serving as defensive coordinator for LSU (2015), Auburn (2016-20) and Miami (2022), Alabama hired him away from the Hurricanes for the 2023 season.

Alabama reached the College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed and lost to No. 1 Michigan in the Rose Bowl semifinal last week.

–Field Level Media

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele in first half action against Alabama in the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, November 30, 2019.


Report: Kevin Steele accepts deal to be Alabama’s next DC

After one season at Miami, Kevin Steele has agreed to a deal to return to Alabama as the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator, ESPN reported Sunday night.

Steele, 64, will be entering his third stint with Alabama under Nick Saban after serving as DC in 2007 and defensive head coach/inside linebackers coach in 2008. He returned to the program in 2013 as director of player personnel and was also linebackers coach in 2014 before one season as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at LSU.

The Crimson Tide now have both of their coordinator positions filled, as Tommy Rees was hired from Notre Dame on Friday to take over as OC. Steele will be replacing Pete Golding, who took the DC job at Ole Miss.

With 39 years of coaching experience, Steele was also Clemson’s defensive coordinator from 2009-11 and Auburn’s from 2016-20. He has also served as a linebackers coach for New Mexico State (1983), Oklahoma State (1984-86), Nebraska (1989-94), the NFL’s Carolina Panthers (1995-98), Florida State (2003-06) and Clemson (2009-11).

Steele was also head coach at Baylor for four seasons (1999-2002). The Bears went 9-36 under him, and he holds an all-time head coaching record of 9-37 after briefly serving as interim head coach at Auburn in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele talks to players before the Arkansas game Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.

Kevin Steele named defensive coordinator at Miami

Kevin Steele has been named defensive coordinator at Miami (Fla.).

Steele goes to the Hurricanes with nearly 40 years of coaching experience, including 10 as defensive coordinator. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in the nation, while with Auburn in 2017.

“A Miami Hurricanes defense should always be defined by its physicality and toughness, which are two traits of every Kevin Steele-coached defense,” head coach Mario Cristobal said in a news release. “Coach Steele has recruited, developed and produced at an elite level at every stop of his career, and I’m confident he will implement a defense that will make Hurricanes fans and alumni proud.”

Steele, 63, began his coaching career at his alma mater Tennessee in 1982 and has zig-zagged the nation through his career, with stops at New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Tennessee again, Florida State, Alabama, Clemson and LSU.

He spent four seasons at linebackers coach of the Carolina Panthers (1995-98) before serving as Baylor’s head coach from 1999-2002, where he compiled a 9-36 record.

During his five seasons at Auburn (2016-20), Steele’s units ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense four times and produced 14 NFL draft picks.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2021; Orlando, FL, USA; Auburn Tigers interim head coach Kevin Steele walks on the field before the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Vols fire DC Kevin Steele after seven weeks

Tennessee has fired defensive coordinator Kevin Steele after less than two months on the job.

Steele was hired on Jan. 12, just six days before Tennessee fired head coach Jeremy Pruitt after an investigation into potential recruiting violations.

New head coach Josh Heupel, hired on Jan. 27, added Tim Banks as his defensive coordinator last month.

The university still owes Steele $860,870, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. That money would be offset if Steele lands a job with another team.

Steele, 62, spent the previous five seasons as the defensive coordinator at Auburn but was not kept as part of new coach Bryan Harsin’s staff.

A linebacker for two seasons at Tennessee in 1978-79, Steele worked for three seasons with the Vols as an assistant immediately after college to kick off a long career as an assistant.

Steele also served as head coach at Baylor from 1999-2002, with the Bears going 9-36 and just 1-31 in conference play during his four seasons.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2020; Starkville, Mississippi, USA;  Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn shouts during the first quarter of the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn fires Malzahn after eight seasons

Auburn fired head coach Gus Malzahn with four seasons remaining on his seven-year, $49 million contract extension, the school announced Sunday.

Malzahn, 55, posted a 68-35 overall record and 39-27 mark in Southeastern Conference play during his eight seasons at the helm. He guided the program to an SEC Championship and BCS National Championship appearance in his first season.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will serve as interim head coach for the Tigers, who finished their season with a 6-4 record following a 24-10 win against Mississippi State on Saturday.

“After evaluating the state of the Auburn football program, we’ve decided that it was time to make a change in leadership,” Auburn athletic director Allen Greene said. “We appreciate everything that Gus did for the program over the last eight seasons. We will begin a search immediately for a coach that can help the Auburn program consistently compete at the highest level.”

Auburn said in its release that Malzahn will be paid the remainder of his contract.

Per, his buyout will be $21,450,000, with 50 percent of that sum owed within 30 days of his termination and the remainder paid in four equal annual installments. His annual salary is $6.9 million, which ranked seventh in the nation and fifth in the SEC behind Alabama’s Nick Saban, LSU’s Ed Orgeron, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.

Auburn joins Vanderbilt, Arizona and Illinois as having head coaching openings among Power Five conference schools.

“Coach Malzahn led the Auburn football program with honor and integrity,” Auburn president Jay Gogue said in a statement. “We appreciate his service to Auburn Athletics, Auburn University and, in particular, our student-athletes. We wish him and (wife) Kristi all the best.”

–Field Level Media