LSU Football: Should the Tigers bring Kevin Steele back to Baton Rouge?

Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser
Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser /

Should LSU football bring Kevin Steele back to Baton Rouge?

LSU football is in the market for a new defensive coordinator and there’s a familiar name that officially became available on Friday.

SEC Network reporter Cole Cubelic reported on Friday that Kevin Steele will not be retained at Auburn by new head coach Bryan Harsin.

Steele served as LSU’s defensive coordinator in 2015, before leaving for the same position at Auburn.

Ed Orgeron was the defensive line coach at LSU in 2015, so he obviously worked quite closely with Steele.

Why did Kevin Steele leave LSU football after just one season in 2015?

Anytime a coach leaves for a lateral move after just one season it’s usually a red flag.

Is that the case with Steele?

Maybe. It’s complicated.

Steele left LSU for more money and job security at Auburn. He reportedly wasn’t happy with former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva and his support for then-head coach Les Miles.

From The Shreveport Times:

"About $400,000 more in yearly salary, a long-term contract, virtual absolution of a $625,000 buyout owed to LSU, a better retirement and the Joe Alleva Factor are five reasons why defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is now Auburn’s defensive coordinator after one season at LSU."

Those are certainly valid reasons to leave. I get it.

LSU tried to keep Steele from leaving for Auburn, but they weren’t willing to get into a bidding war for the veteran coach (via The Advocate).

For what it’s worth, Steele spoke well of his time working with Orgeron.

“LSU is a wonderful place to coach football,” said Steele in late 2016. “He’s (Orgeron) a great leader and he’s an LSU-type guy”.

“I was very excited for him (getting the LSU job on a full-time basis ) and I think he’ll do a great job.”

Steele angled for the Auburn head coaching job after Gus Malzahn was fired last month. It’s unclear whether he’ll pursue another head coaching gig somewhere.

Next. 2021 gets off to a good start for LSU. dark

I think Steele should probably be an option for LSU, but I don’t think he should be at the top of their list. The way he left Baton Rouge a few years ago is certainly a concern. But he did a good job with the defense. And he did well at Auburn.

Orgeron could make worse hires, but I think he should cover all his bases before he circles back to Steele.