Alabama hires Kevin Steele as defensive coordinator

Alabama hires Kevin Steele as defensive coordinator

Former Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has accepted Alabama’s offer to become its next defensive coordinator, Tide Illustrated has learned. Steele, who spent the past season as Miami’s defensive coordinator, replaces Pete Golding who left to take the defensive coordinator role at Ole Miss last month.

Steele, 64, will be making his third stint in Tuscaloosa under Nick Saban. He served as the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator during Saban’s first season at the helm. Steele also served as Alabama’s director of player personnel in 2013 and coached linebackers and was a special assistant to Saban the next year in 2014.

“I think Kevin is just really sound, fundamental,” Saban said before the 2020 Iron Bowl. “You win with execution. Their players really do a good job of executing whatever it is they do. They make really good adjustments to take away what you’re trying to do. And the players play hard, and they play with a lot of toughness. I think those are all signs of Kevin’s leadership. But it’s always a challenge to play against him, that’s for sure.”

In addition to calling defenses at Alabama and Miami, Steele has previous defensive coordinator experience at Clemson (2009-11), LSU (2015) and Auburn (2016-20).

Outside of serving as a defensive coordinator, he has spent the majority of his time coaching linebackers, doing so at Tennessee (1982), New Mexico State (1983), Oklahoma State (1984-86), Nebraska (1989-94), the Carolina Panthers (1995-98) and Florida State (2003-06).

Prior to agreeing to terms with Steele, Alabama interviewed Todd Grantham for the defensive coordinator position. However, Grantham elected to return to the NFL as an assistant for the New Orleans Saints.

According to sources, Jeremy Pruitt was Alabama’s top target for the defensive coordinator position. The Crimson Tide was forced to move onto other options due to complications stemming from the NCAA’s ongoing investigation of Pruitt.

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