Kevin Steele says he's ready to build Auburn's defense
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- New Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele says he knows what defense has meant to the Tigers through the years.
"Auburn has historically had excellent defenses that are hard-nosed and physical. I look forward to helping our players achieve that standard on defense," Steele said in a statement Thursday, one day after he was hired away from LSU by Gus Malzahn.
"I want to thank Coach Malzahn for the opportunity to join his staff at Auburn and return to the state of Alabama," Steele said.
Steele knows about Auburn and the SEC. He has faced the Tigers while coaching at LSU, Alabama and Tennessee. He's also coached at Clemson, Florida State, Baylor and Carolina of the NFL. He's resume includes six years as a defensive coordinator in the SEC and ACC. He was named Rivals' national recruiter of the year in 2005.
"I'm very excited to have a coach with the experience and credentials of Kevin Steele joining our staff," Malzahn said. "Kevin is a great recruiter, he has a strong understanding of the Southeastern Conference, and he has a defensive philosophy very similar to what our players ran this past season. I look forward to Kevin building our defense that is consistently one of the best in the SEC."
LSU finished the regular season ranked fifth in the SEC in total defense and fourth in rushing defense.
Steele was at Alabama in 2013 and 2014 and Clemson the three years before that. He was also at Alabama in 2007-08. He was Baylor's head coach from 1999-2002.
Steele graduated from Tennessee in 1981. His daughter, Caroline, graduated from Auburn in 2011. His son, Gordon, is the offensive line coach at and run game coordinator at Murray State.
Steele's brother, Jeff, is the associate athletics director for facilities and operations at Auburn.
|Kevin Steele's coaching career|
|1980-81||Tennessee (student assistant, 1980; graduate assistant, 1981)|
|1982||Tennessee (outside linebackers)|
|1983||New Mexico State (linebackers)|
|1984-86||Oklahoma State (linebackers/tight ends)|
|1987-88||Tennessee (defensive backs)|
|1995-98||Carolina Panthers (linebackers)|
|1999-2002||Baylor (head coach)|
|2003-06||Florida State (linebackers)|
|2007-08||Alabama (defensive coordinator, 2007; linebackers; 2008)|
|2009-11||Clemson (defensive coordinator/linebackers)|
|2013-14||Alabama (director player personnel, 2013; linebackers, 2014)|
|2015||LSU (defensive coordinator/linebackers)|
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine