Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is retiring from coaching, according to ESPN's Chris Low. Steele, 65, ran a Crimson Tide unit that in 2023 finished second in the SEC in total defense (316 yards per game) and scoring defense (19 PPG), along with third in defensive yards per play (5.01). That defense was the driving force that led Alabama to the SEC Championship Game win over Georgia and a berth in the College Football Playoff. Most notably, it held the team together in the month of September as the offense struggled (298.2 YPG) under quarterback Jalen Milroe.

Steele is no stranger to success -- especially in the Southeastern footprint. In addition to three separate stints with Crimson Tide defense, he has been the defensive coordinator at Clemson (2009-11), LSU (2015), Auburn (2016-20) and Miami (2022).

His 2017 defense at Auburn earned him recognition as a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in the sport. That defense finished No. 14 in the nation in defensive yards per game (319.4), No. 8 in defensive yards per play (319.4) and No. 11 in scoring defense (18.5 points per game). 

Steele's lone full-time head coaching job was at Baylor from 1999-2002, where he finished 9-36 overall and 1-31 in Big 12 play. He served as the interim head coach at Auburn in 2020 and lost the Citrus Bowl to Northwestern following the dismissal of former Tigers coach Gus Malzahn