A veteran coach with a wealth of top-level experience in the college and pro ranks, Kevin Steele is in his second stint with the Crimson Tide. Steele, who returned to Alabama in 2013 as the Director of Player Personnel, made the transition to linebackers coach in February of this year. He will also serve as special assistant to the head coach. Steele helped the Crimson Tide put together the nation's top-ranked 2014 recruiting class.
Steele will coach the inside linebackers as he did in 2007-08. The UA defense performed impressively under Steele in 2007, ranking 27th nationally and fourth in the SEC in scoring defense (22.0 ppg). In addition, inside linebacker Rolando McClain was recognized as a first team Sporting News Freshman All-American. The 2008 Alabama defense was second nationally in rush defense, allowing just 74.1 yards per game. That unit was third in the NCAA in total defense (263.5 ypg) and seventh in scoring defense (14.3 ppg) as the Crimson Tide went 12-2, won the SEC West, and earned a BCS bowl bid.
In 2014, Steele is tasked with replacing two-time All-American and Butkus Award winner C.J. Mosley in the middle of the Alabama defense. Senior middle linebacker Trey DePriest is next up for the Crimson Tide in the middle and has the talent and experience to step into the signal-calling role for the Tide defense. Steele inherits a talented group to work with at both middle linebacker positions with the return of junior Reggie Ragland, junior Dillon Lee and sophomore Reuben Foster. True freshman Shaun Dion Hamilton also arrived on campus early to go through spring drills.
Steele spent three years (2009-11) as the defensive coordinator at Clemson. The Tigers won the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, which was their first league title since 1991. The 2010 defense led the ACC and ranked 13th nationally in points allowed, surrendering 18.8 points per game. Clemson claimed the Atlantic Division Championship in 2009.
Prior to Clemson and Alabama, Steele worked at Florida State under head coach Bobby Bowden for four seasons (2003-06) as the executive head coach. He was named the Rivals.com National Recruiter of the Year in 2005 at FSU after helping the Seminoles sign the top class in the country. His pupils at FSU included Michael Boulware, a finalist for the 2004 NFL Rookie of Year Award with the Seattle Seahawks, as well as first round picks Ernie Sims (Detroit Lions) and Lawrence Timmons (Pittsburgh Steelers). Steele came to Florida State after serving as the head coach at Baylor University from 1999-2002.
Steele coached linebackers for the Carolina Panthers in the NFL from 1995-98. Under head coach Dom Capers, the Panthers reached the NFC Championship game in their second season (1996). After four years with Carolina, Steele was hired as head coach at Baylor in 1999.
From 1989-94, Steele coached the linebackers under Nebraska legend Tom Osborne. During his six years in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers went 60-11, appeared in six bowl games, won four conference championships and captured the 1994 national championship with a 13-0 record.
He has held assistant coaching jobs at Tennessee (1987-88), Oklahoma State (1984-86) and New Mexico State (1983).
The Dillon, S.C., native is a 1981 graduate of the University of Tennessee. He spent his freshman year at Furman before transferring to Tennessee, where he was a member of Johnny Majors' 1978 and 1979 squads. He was a student assistant coach in 1980 and then a graduate assistant the following year (1981) before being promoted to outside linebackers coach in 1982.
Steele and his wife, Linda, have one son Gordon and one daughter Caroline.