UPDATE: Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has confirmed that Kevin Steele has accepted Auburn’s offer to become the defensive coordinator.
End of update.
LSU has apparently countered Auburn’s offer to defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
LSU officials believe the team will retain Steele, despite Auburn’s advances, according to the Advocate’s Ross Dellenger.
LSU coach Les Miles met with school officials at the team hotel prior to the team leaving Houston but he declined comment, according to the report. LSU defeated Texas Tech 56-27 in the Texas Bowl Tuesday night.
Steele just wrapped up year one of a two-year contract he signed to replace John Chavis, who now has the same position at Texas A&M, as LSU’s defensive coordinator. The Tigers went 10-3 and ranked 27th nationally in total defense in Steele’s first season.
Miles’ assistant coaches have generally signed three-year deals, but Steele is currently under contract for just one additional season that will pay him $1.005 million in base salary. The high interest from Auburn may get Steele a raise or an extension on his current deal.
He was the ninth highest-paid assistant coach in the country this season, according to a database compiled by USA Today, but several SEC defensive coordinators made more in base salary. UGA’s Jeremy Pruitt, Chavis, Alabama’s Kirby Smart and former Auburn coordinator Will Muschamp ranked higher on the list.
Steele came to LSU 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.