Kevin Steele

AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File

56 college football assistants named nominees for 2017 Broyles Award


College football’s award season is coming quickly with semifinalists and finalists for various awards coming in the next few weeks. Among the awards is the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football. Today, the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation released its list of nominees for this year’s award. All 56 of them, which is sure to keep more SIDs busy this time of year.

No school has more than one assistant nominated for the award and previous winners of the award from the past five seasons are not eligible. Clemson’s Brent Venables won the award last year, for example, so he is not eligible this season. This list of nominees will be trimmed to 15 semifinalists later this season, and that list will be cut down to five finalists for the award.

The Broyles Award was first awarded in 2010 to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Malzahn is currently the head coach of the Tigers. In total, five Broyles Award winners have gone on to be a head coach, with four of those currently holding head coaching positions. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi (2013, Michigan State defensive coordinator), Texas head coach Tom Herman (2014, Ohio State offensive coordinator), and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley (2015, Oklahoma offensive coordinator) currently hold head coaching jobs. Bob Diaco, who won the award in 2012 while at Notre Dame, went on to be named the head coach at UConn and currently is an assistant with Nebraska.

2017 Broyles Award Nominees

  • Alabama – Brian Daboll, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Arizona – Rod Smith, Co–Offensive Coordinator
  • Arizona State – Phil Bennett, Defensive Coordinator
  • Arkansas State – Brian Early, Defensive Line Coach
  • Auburn – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator
  • Boise State – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Bowling Green State – Matt Brock, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • California – Beau Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
  • Central Florida – Troy Walters, Offensive Coordinator
  • Clemson – Tony Elliot, Co–Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs
  • Eastern Michigan – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • FAU – Chris Kiffin, Defensive Coordinator
  • FIU – Brent Guy, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Fresno State – Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia – Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator
  • Georgia State – Nate Fuqua, Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
  • Iowa State – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
  • Kansas State – Sean Snyder, Special Teams Coordinator
  • LSU – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator
  • Memphis – Joe Lorig, Special Teams Coordinator; – Outside Linebackers
  • Miami – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Michigan – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Michigan State – Harlon Barnett, Co–Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
  • Mississippi State – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Missouri – Josh Heupel, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • NC State – Dwayne Ledford, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator
  • North Texas – Graham Harrell, Offensive Coordinator
  • Northwestern – Mike Hankwitz, Defensive Coordinator
  • Notre Dame – Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator
  • Ohio State – Larry Johnson, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach
  • Oklahoma – Bill Bedenbaugh, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Oklahoma State – Mike Yurcich, Offensive Coordinator/QBs
  • Ole Miss – Derrick Nix, Running Backs Coach
  • Oregon – Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator
  • Penn State – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • San José State – Bojay Filimoeatu, Linebackers Coach
  • SMU – Joe Craddock, Offensive Coordinator
  • South Carolina – Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • Southern Miss – Tony Pecoraro, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
  • Stanford – Mike Bloomgren, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • Syracuse – Brian Ward, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
  • TCU – Chad Glasgow, Defensive Coordinator
  • Temple – Jim Panagos, Defensive Line
  • Texas – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Toledo – Brian Wright, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
  • Troy – Vic Koenning, Defensive Coordinator
  • U.S. Military Academy – Brent Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
  • USC – Tee Martin, Offensive Coordinator/WR Coach
  • Utah State – Mark Tommerdahl, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
  • Virginia Tech – Bud Foster, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wake Forest – Warren Ruggiero, Offensive Coordinator
  • Washington – Pete Kwiatkowski, Defensive Coordinator
  • Washington State – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator / Secondary
  • West Virginia – Tony Gibson, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
  • Western Kentucky – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator
  • Wisconsin – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator

Former Crimson Tide safety takes shot at LSU’s new defensive coordinator


You can take the football player out of Alabama, but you can’t take the Crimson Tide out of the football player.

Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix left Alabama as a highly decorated safety before becoming the 21st pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFL draft.

The safety didn’t take to Twitter Friday to rip the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions or even the Minnesota Vikings, though.

Clinton-Dix’s contempt for the rival LSU Tigers remains strong, and he made sure to point out what type of hire the program made when Kevin Steele was named its new offensive coordinator.

The game Clinton-Dix referred to was the 2012 Orange Bowl. Steele was the defensive coordinator of the Clemson Tigers at the time. His defense surrendered 595 total yards to the West Virginia Mountaineers on their way to scoring 70 points.

The embarrassing performance eventually cost Steele his job.

Despite the pitiful performance and being a few years removed from defensive coordinator duties, LSU head coach Les Miles was excited about Steele’s inclusion to his coaching staff.

“He has a great defensive mind and he’s an outstanding recruiter,” Miles said when the hire was officially announced, per ESPN. “He knows our players and our system and his knowledge of the SEC and the SEC Western Division makes him a great fit. We are very excited the Kevin will be joining our staff.”

Miles and LSU might be excited about the hire, but Clinton-Dix obviously thinks it’s a joke.

Alabama loses another assistant coach to SEC West rival


On the heels of Alabama losing defensive assistant Kevin Steele to a new job at LSU, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is losing one more defensive assistant to another SEC West rival.

Lance Thompson has reportedly agreed to join the Auburn coaching staff as a defensive assistant under new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. 247 Sports was first to report the coaching news.

Thompson had been Alabama’s outside linebackers coach for three seasons under Saban. He had spent the previous three years as an assistant at Tennessee and he is regarded as a top-notch recruiter for Alabama. His move from Alabama to Auburn should be a huge boost for the Tigers, a program in need of solidifying things on defense in order to bounce back and compete for the SEC championship and make a run at a potential playoff spot. With the coaching changes happening for Gus Malzahn and his program, things seem to be looking up on defense, and this move may crack things a little bit in Tuscaloosa. Thompson is the final piece of the puzzle for Auburn’s revamped coaching staff.

Alabama has now lost two assistants to division rivals in a span of 24 hours. This is far from suggesting Saban is in trouble, coming off a second straight postseason bowl loss.

LSU adds Ed Orgeron to staff as defensive line coach


Few will argue the passion to coach college football possessed by Ed Orgeron. It looks like he is about to bring that juice to the LSU Tigers.

Football Scoop reported Wednesday morning, via Twitter, LSU is expected to add Orgeron to the coaching staff, although the exact title of his role is yet to be confirmed. LSU just hired former Alabama assistant coach Kevin Steele to be the new defensive coordinator for the Tigers. This means Orgeron’s role will likely be as a defensive line coach, a role he has filled throughout much of his coaching career.

Orgeron was a defensive line coach for USC from 2010 through 2013 before taking on an interim head coaching job for the Trojans following the firing of Lane Kiffin. Orgeron left the Trojans before USC’s bowl game that season, not happy with not getting the full-time job. This would be Orgeron’s fourth tour of duty in the SEC, with previous jobs at Arkansas, Ole Miss (as head coach) and Tennessee.

Orgeron turned down an offer to be the head coach at Nicholls State last September, and he made it known he had interest in the head coaching job at Kansas.

UPDATE (10:26 a.m.): LSU has made it official. Orgeron is the new defensive line coach in Baton Rouge.

LSU names Kevin Steele its new defensive coordinator


After high-profile names such as Alabama’s Kirby Smart and Chicago Bears’ Mel Tucker were floated Monday, the LSU Tigers had a different target in mind to replace John Chavis as the team’s defensive coordinator.

LSU was able to lure a quality coach from the Alabama Crimson Tide. It just wasn’t Smart.

Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele will take over Les Miles‘ defense.

Steele came to Alabama after he was replaced as the Clemson’s defensive coordinator in 2012. It was his second stop in Tuscaloosa. In 2007, Steele served as Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator before Smart took over play-calling duties.

The move to Baton Rogue also isn’t a first for Steele. The assistant coach spent the 2004 season as Saban’s secondary coach.

Miles has been searching for a new coordinator the Texas A&M Aggies hired Chavis on Dec. 31. Chavis left the Tigers in good shape after leading them to a Top 10 defense in 2014.

The lasting impression of Steele as a defensive coordinator, however, remains the West Virginia Mountaineers hanging 70 points on his Clemson Tigers during the 2012 Orange Bowl.

Steele is considered a top-notch recruiter, but he has big shoes to fill down in the Bayou.