Kevin Steele's second stint with the Tide was as abbreviated as his first, as LSU hires Tide's LB coach to fill defensive coordinator vacancy ahead of National Signing Day.
As reported by many, Tide linebackers coach Kevin Steele has just been hired by division rival LSU to fill the Tigers nearly two-week vacancy, following the slow-motion trainwreck that was the departure of John Chavis.
It's no secret that Nick Saban loves to staff his office with former head coaches (Lane Kiffin, Bobby Williams, and Mario Cristobal are all former head coaches.) Steele's head coaching career was sadly execrable, like many poisoned by two decades of bad Baylor support and talent - he went just 9-36 (1-31 B12) in 4 seasons as the Bears' coach. But, Kevin Steele is firmly in that model of "football guys" that Saban tends to hire and then finds a position for. This is Steele's second stint with Alabama. In 2007 he was hired from Bobby Bowden's flagging Florida State club to be Coach Saban's first defensive coordinator. That would be the worst Saban defense, statistically-speaking, finishing just 21st in Defensive efficiency and 37th in adjusted defensive SOS. That said, the issues in 2007 were clearly related to little talent on the roster, the adjustment to Saban's complex 3-4 scheme, and new coaching and coaches, overall.
In 2008 Coach Steele served as the Tide's Associate Head Coach. Clemson came calling the following season, and from 2009-2012, Steele helmed the Tiger defense and coached LBs. His impact was felt immediately, as the Tigers improved in Defensive SOS from 53rd to 9th in Steele's first turnaround season, and improved in total adjusted defense, going from 19th to 13th. Steele is also noted as a great oversight/QC coach and jack-of-all-trades on the recruiting trail.
Following the 2013 Orange Bowl bludgeoning West Virginia administered to the Tigers, and generally steady -if not diminishing- returns over three seasons, Steele was released and he returned to Alabama, first as Director of Player Personnel in 2013 and this season as linebackers coach. Coach Steele was instrumental this season in helping develop guys like Reggie Ragland, who has had a breakout season, as well as assist Trey Depriest in his continued development as a player and a field leader.
nothing but pain well for Coach Steele, and, when Les Miles is fired in a year or so, we invite you to come home...we'll leave a light on for you.