|Kevin Steele out|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Thursday, January 12, 2012 12:42 PM||
CLEMSON – Defensive coordinator Kevin SteeleKevin Steele
View Full Profile is out at Clemson, and there has been a team meeting with the players called for tonight at 6 p.m. at the WestZone to discuss the changes. The team had one meeting Tuesday to discuss the off-season, but Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was in Texas so tonight is his first chance to speak with his players' directly since the team arrived home from the Orange Bowl.
The rumors of Steele’s departure have run rampant since last Wednesday’s 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl, and now the Tigers must look for another defensive coordinator just as a big recruiting weekend and National Signing Day loom.
Our source tells us that head coach Swinney could look in-house to secondary coach Charlie Harbison, but that Swinney is also very interested in Bill Clark, the defensive coordinator at South Alabama. Clark is like offensive coordinator Chad Morris in that he is just a few years removed from success at the high school level, but he has also seen success while leading the Jaguars’ defense.
In 2009, his defense allowed 5.9 points, 60.7 yards rushing and 173.1 yards passing per game, made 14 interceptions and recovered eight fumbles, and had 35 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks.
In 2010, against better competition, the Jags' defense allowed 13 points, 81.2 rushing yards and 173.4 passing yards a game. The defense recovered 10 fumbles, added 15 interceptions, and made 67 tackles for a loss and 24 sacks. The numbers slipped a little last season as the team played a lot of younger players, but Clark is known as a fast-riser in the coaching ranks.
Stay tuned for further details.
Update: Clemson will owe Steele $1.3 million (two years of salary) plus $200,000 in longevity bonuses.
Update: Steele told ESPN.com he has been fired after three seasons, but coach Dabo Swinney and the university say Steele is leaving to pursue other coaching opportunities.
Update: Clemson releases official statement on Steele: Steele will not return as defensive coordinator