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Terps

In reversal, Kevin Steele spurns Maryland to become defensive coordinator at Miami

A week after verbally agreeing to become Maryland’s defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele is taking the same job at Miami, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Steele was working in the office at the Jones-Hill House in College Park on Friday and met with recruits on official visits over the weekend before informing the Terps staff Tuesday that he was taking the Miami job, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

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A former head coach at Baylor and interim coach at Auburn and Tennessee, Steele was expected to become Maryland’s third defensive coordinator since coach Mike Locksley took over the program in 2019. Brian Stewart served as the defensive coordinator during the 2021 season after Jon Hoke became the secondary coach for the Atlanta Falcons.

Steele, 63, was the defensive coordinator at Auburn, LSU, Alabama and Clemson before serving as the interim coach for Tennessee last season after the Volunteers fired Jeremy Pruitt. He was also named the interim coach at Auburn for the team’s bowl game when Gus Malzahn was fired in 2020. The South Carolina native was the head coach at Baylor from 1999 to 2002 after spending three seasons as a linebackers coach for the Carolina Panthers.

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While working at Alabama in 2013 and 2014, Steele overlapped with Mario Cristobal, who was hired as Miami’s head coach after four seasons at Oregon.

The new coordinator is tasked with taking over one of the worst defenses in the Big Ten Conference, as Maryland ranked 13th in points allowed (30.7) and 12th in total yards allowed (404.3) among the 14 programs. Maryland’s defense is also losing defensive lineman Sam Okuayinonu, linebacker Lawtez Rogers and defensive backs Nick Cross and Jordan Mosely to the 2022 NFL draft, while linebackers Branden Jennings, Terrence Lewis and Deshawn Holt transferred.

On3sports first reported that Steele is taking the job at Miami.


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