Former Tennessee player and coach Kevin Steele will still receive most of his $900,000 salary over the next two years after being terminated from the Vols football program.
Steele, who was just hired in January and signed a two-year deal, was fired without cause Tuesday and was given until Friday to turn in any university property still in his possession, according to records obtained by the Washington Post.
He could be paid up to $860,870 in severance for a job he had for 49 days.
That’s about $17,570 a day for the time he served his seven-week stint. If he were to make that amount per day over the course of a year, it would equate to just over $6.4 million.
But Steele will be paid out in monthly installments through Jan. 31, 2023, and he is required to try to get a job that would help ease how much Tennessee has to pay him, the Post reports.
Tennessee is currently paying former UCF AD Danny White’s buyout of about $2.5 million, and former head coach Josh Heupel’s buyout of about $3.6 million.
The Vols hired the former Auburn defensive coordinator on Jan. 12 when former head coach Jeremy Pruitt still lead the program.
University chancellor Donde Plowman personally signed off on the hiring of Steele, per ESPN.
Six days later, Pruitt was fired for cause following an investigation that uncovered what called “serious violations of NCAA rules,” and nearly the entire staff, but Steele, was terminated.
Once Pruitt was fired on Jan. 18, Steele briefly took over as interim head coach until Tennessee hired Josh Heupel on Jan. 27.
Steele, 62, was Auburn’s defensive coordinator the past five seasons but was not retained by Auburn’s new coach Bryan Harsin after Gus Malzahn was fired in December. Malzahn now leads the UCF Knights football program as of February.