Kevin Steele Introduced As Auburn Defensive Coordinator

    Kevin Steele was introduced as Auburn's defensive coordinator on Tuesday.

    January 5, 2016


    Introductory comments from new Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele


    Comments From New Auburn Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele

    During his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Kevin Steele recalled the first college football game he ever attended.

    It just so happens that game took place in Jordan-Hare Stadium, where he’ll now serve as defensive coordinator for the Auburn Tigers.

    Calling the decision to accept the job “very, very easy”, Steele talked about the past of proud Auburn defenses.

    “Auburn has a history of being a hard-nosed, physical defense for years and years,” Steele said. “I certainly know the tradition and history.”

    Steele also spoke on his personal connection to the Auburn, and what makes it so special.

    “This is a very unique place,” Steele said. “The Auburn family, what it means to the people. It is not hard for prospects to see.”

    Coach Gus Malzahn opened the press conference by stating why Steele was the man for the job.

    “I wanted to be patient and we got the right guy,” Malzahn said. “I was looking for someone with SEC experience.”

    Malzahn also spoke on wanting someone that would bring stability, something his Tigers need after hiring their third defensive coordinator in as many years, and seventh in the last ten.

    Steele echoed Malzahn’s statement.

    “I want to be here the duration of my coaching career,” Steele continued. 

    “When you coach as long as I have, you know the signs of greatness and you know the signs of the right people being at the right place,” Steele said. “I am very confident that from the players all the way to the head coach, we have what it takes to be champions.”

    Steele will take over a defense that seemed to improve as the year went along.

    “I watched the LSU game and then watched bowl game,” Steele said. “Last couple of games, it was a total different unit than what started season.”

    With the Tigers now having to learn a new defensive philosophy, Steele said that it still comes down to some basic things.

    “You have to stop the run, you have to be physical, and you have to stop big plays,” Steele said. “This league (SEC) has become a big play league. You have to find the strengths and weaknesses of each player. It’s not so much what you know as a coach, it is what the players can do and what they can execute.”

    Steele served as defensive coordinator at LSU during the 2015 season after holding a couple of positions at Alabama in 2013-14. He also was defensive coordinator at Clemson from 2009-11.

    Before ending the press conference, Steele reiterated his dedication to Auburn.

    “I saw my first game here,” Steele said. “It would be just fine with me if I coach my last game here.”

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