Former LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will become the fifth different defensive coordinator for Auburn since 2011, and many are wondering if this was the right move for Auburn.
Now there is a big difference between the right move and the best move. I think Steele may have been the best option available, but I’m not convinced he was the right move for the Tigers.
As I already mentioned, Auburn has struggled to find consistency at the defensive coordinator position for a long time. The last defensive coordinator Auburn had who stayed more than three years was Wayne Hall who was on staff from 1986-95. The last coordinator that stayed more than two years was Ted Roof from 2009-11.
It’s hard to find any kind of consistency on defense when you’re changing coaches almost every year, especially when you’re head coach isn’t well versed on that side of the ball.
And that leads us to my biggest concern with Kevin Steele, he hasn’t been still throughout his 35 year coaching career. The longest he ever stayed in one place was in Nebraska from 1989-94.
Since then he was with the Carolina Panthers for four years, Baylor for four years, Florida State for four years, Alabama for two years, Clemson for three years, Alabama again for two years and LSU for one year.
Either he’s just not a good coach, or he just loves to move. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I think it’s the latter. I believe he’s a good coach, but it seems like he’s just always looking for the next big thing. Auburn needs someone who is committed to Auburn and in making this defense great again.
That’s why I believe Charles Kelly would have been the right choice for Auburn, but once that backfired they scrambled to find the best choice for Auburn.
Another option that I believe would have been a better choice for Auburn was Lance Thompson. We had someone in place that wanted the job and seemed committed to Auburn, but yet we didn’t even give him a chance and now he’s gone. I think Auburn completely fumbled that entire situation.
Again, Steele is probably the best choice as I think he will do a great job with the Auburn defense in 2016, but what about after 2016? Do you think Steele is committed to this job long-term?
I understand coordinator positions in college football are just springboard positions for bigger jobs, but it would have been nice to find someone who wasn’t so eager to spring from that board. We’ve seen how loyal Kelly was with Florida State, Auburn needs someone with that kind of loyalty to them.
If we’re lucky Steele stays on staff at least two years before bolting for the next big thing. Of course, if Gus Malzahn doesn’t have a good 2016 there could be a whole lot of shake-up in the coaching staff, and maybe that’s why he decided to make the best choice instead of the right choice. He realizes how big this upcoming season is for his future at Auburn.