COLLEGE PARK, MD - OCTOBER 15: Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele (L) and head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers look on after the Maryland Terrapins scored during the first half at Byrd Stadium on October 15, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Kevin Steele is reportedly out as Clemson's defensive coordinator.
The Clemson Tigers and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele have parted ways, according to the Greenville News and others, though reports differ on whether he was fired. It shouldn't exactly come as a surprise, seeing as Clemson gave up a bowl game-record 70 points to the West Virginia Mountaineers in their last outing and didn't exactly shut down the ACC during the regular season.
Steele had been a presumed Tennessee Volunteers DC candidate, until that whole Orange Bowl ordeal occurred. On the year, Clemson ranked No. 71 in the nation in total defense. Before taking over the Tigers D, he'd worked for Alabama, Florida State, and Baylor, along with various stints with the Vols and elsewhere.
As far as replacements go, Clemson blog Shakin' the Southland has a list all rarin' to go:
We have looked at a few guys as possible replacements for Steele that we'd think would fit and could be talked into coming here: Jim Heacock from Ohio State (situation is in flux there), Bob Shoop from Vandy, Tom Bradley at Penn State, Chuck Heater from Temple (formerly Co-DC at Florida), Pat Narduzzi from Michigan State (unlikely as he just renegotiated), and Bill Clark from South Alabama. Randy Shannon had had a deal in place with Tennessee that fell through due to Shannon wanting a multi-year deal, but he is a possibility.
So there's one more school competing for a defensive coordinator in the southeast.
For more on the Tigers, visit Clemson blog Shakin' the Southland.