ESPN talks about Kevin Steele
Position: Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin SteeleKevin Steele
View Full Profile told ESPN.com he has been fired after three seasons, but coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile and the university are sticking to their statement that Steele is leaving to pursue other coaching opportunities.
Regardless of the semantics, Steele will not return to Clemson in 2012.
This shouldn't come as a surprise, as Clemson is coming off one of its worst defensive performances ever, a 70-33 loss to West Virginia in the Discover Orange Bowl. Don't forget, though, that Clemson had the ACC's best defense in 2010, when it was ranked No. 13 in the country in scoring defense. Those within the program knew there would be growing pains this year, but the abysmal performance in the Orange Bowl left Swinney little choice but to make a change. It looked as if Clemson's defense flat-out quit against West Virginia.
Steele is one of the good guys in the business, though, and he's a good coach. Whether it's at Tennessee or elsewhere, he'll land on his feet and be fine. The question now becomes if Swinney can make another home run hire like he did with offensive coordinator Chad Morris. If he can, Clemson should again be one of the toughest teams to beat in the ACC.
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