Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has confirmed that Kevin Steele accepted Auburn’s offer to become the new defensive coordinator.
End of update
It appears that Auburn’s search for a new defensive coordinator has finally come to an end.
Current LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will take the same job at Auburn, “barring a late snag,” according to ESPN’s Chris Low.
Steele was in his first year as the LSU defensive coordinator after serving as the linebackers coach at Alabama during the 2014 season. He has two prior stints as a defensive play-caller at Alabama (2007) and Clemson (2009-2011). Steele, who is a Tennessee alumnus, also held a head coaching job at Baylor (1999-2002). He was named the recruiter of the year by Rivals in 2005.
LSU finished 10-3 in Steele’s first season in Baton Rouge, including a dominating 45-21 win over Auburn. LSU’s defense was ranked 27th nationally, allowing 347.2 yards per game.
Steele will be expected to improve an Auburn defense that finished 91st nationally in total defense under former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Muschamp vacated the position after one season to become the South Carolina head coach earlier this month.
If Steele is indeed hired, it ends what appeared to be an arduous process for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly and Penn State coordinator Bob Shoop both reportedly turned down offers from Malzahn. The Auburn coach may be on the hot seat going into next season after a 6-6 regular season finish, which makes taking the job a risky proposition if the Tigers falter again in 2016.