LSU names Alabama assistant Steele new defensive coordinator
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU coach Les Miles has hired Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.
Steele’s hiring was announced Tuesday evening. He has received national honors for recruiting and has spent the past two years under Nick Saban, this season as the Crimson Tide’s linebackers coach and as special assistant to the head coach.
“He has a great defensive mind and he’s an outstanding recruiter,” Miles said in a statement released by the university. “He knows our players and our system and his knowledge of the SEC and the SEC Western Division makes him a great fit.”
Steele, 56, fills a vacancy created when John Chavis left after LSU’s Dec. 30 loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl to become Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator.
Steele was Baylor’s head coach from 1999 to 2002. His most recent stint as a defensive coordinator came from 2009 to 2011 at Clemson, which fielded one of the nation’s top defenses in 2010 but struggled in Steele’s last season there, capped by a 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.
Steele was an NFL assistant with Carolina in the mid-1990s and worked under Bobby Bowden at Florida State before his first two-year stint at Alabama began in 2007.
“Kevin has had a very successful coaching career, one that has seen him coach alongside some of the top coaches in the game,” Miles said.
Steele held the title of defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Alabama in 2007. In 2008, Saban named his current defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart, to that post, while Steele continued coaching linebackers.
While Steele was not part of any national championship teams at Alabama, he was an assistant under Tom Osborne on Nebraska’s 1994 national championship squad. In the NFL he coached linebackers under Dom Capers for a Panthers team that went to the NFC title game at the end of the 1996 season, losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay.
Before its loss to eventual national champion Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, Alabama ranked 11th nationally in total defense and second in run defense, allowing 88.6 yards per game.