Alabama hires Kevin Steele as defensive coordinator: Veteran assistant tapped to replace Pete Golding

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Alabama has hired Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to the same position, sources confirmed to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports. Steele replaces Pete Golding, who left after five seasons in Tuscaloosa to take the same position at Ole Miss.

Steele, 64, has a long history in Southeastern coaching circles and was a member of Nick Saban’s first coaching staff at Alabama in 2007. He left for Clemson but returned to the Crimson Tide there their smaller positions since 2013-14. In addition, Steele worked on Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn from 2016-2020 when the Tigers stole a pair of games from the rival Iron Bowl Tide, including a 26-14 upset over then-No. 1 Alabama in 2017.

Steele was named a finalist for the Broyles Award — given to the nation’s top assistant — in 2017 and was part of key recruiting battles during his run as an SEC and ACC assistant. His return to Alabama is expected to play a championship-level defense and help the Crimson Tide continue to dominate the recruiting trail; Nick Saban just secured another No. 1 class in the 2023 cyclefor the third time in six years Alabama has finished with the top class in the nation.

Miami had a lackluster first season with Steele leading the defense under coach Mario Cristobal. The Hurricanes failed to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007 as the defense was ranked 65th nationally. With Steele out, Cristobal is now tasked with replacing coordinators on both sides of the ball in just his second season. Offensive coordinator Josh Gattis was relieved of his duties following the 5-7 campaign.

Other stops for Steele include the Carolina Panthers, Florida State and Tennessee. He was Baylor’s head coach from 1999-2002 but posted a disappointing 9-36 record during his tenure.

ESPN first reported Steele coming back to Alabama for a third term.

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