Alabama has hired Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to the same position, the school announced Monday. Steele replaces Pete Golding, who left after five seasons in Tuscaloosa to take the same position at Ole Miss.
Steele, 64, has a lengthy history around Southeast coaching circles and was a member of Nick Saban's initial coaching staff at Alabama in 2007. He left for Clemson but returned to the Crimson Tide in lesser roles from 2013-14. Additionally, Steele worked on Gus Malzahn's staff at Auburn from 2016-20 as the Tigers stole a pair of games from the Iron Bowl rival Tide, including a 26-14 upset over No. 1 Alabama in 2017.
"My history with Coach Saban goes back a long time and what he has built here at Alabama is truly amazing," Steele said. "I understand the high expectations of both Coach Saban and the program, and I am looking forward to helping continue that success."
Steele was named a finalist for the Broyles Award -- given to the top assistant in the nation -- in 2017 and been a part of key recruiting battles throughout his run as an SEC and ACC assistant. His return to Alabama comes with expectations of fielding a championship-level defense and helping the Crimson Tide continue to dominate on the recruiting trail; Nick Saban just secured yet another No. 1 class in the 2023 cycle, the third time in six years Alabama has finished with the top class in the country.
Miami had a lackluster first season with Steele taking the reins of the defense under coach Mario Cristobal. The Hurricanes failed to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007 as the defense ranked No. 65 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 after the 5-7 campaign.
Other previous stops for Steele include with the Carolina Panthers, Florida State and Tennessee. He served as head coach at Baylor from 1999-2002 but posted a disappointing 9-36 record during his tenure.