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Tennessee Hiring Kevin Steele as Assistant Amidst Uncertainty with HC Jeremy Pruitt

Tennessee has hired former Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele for an unspecified position on their coaching staff, according to a report from Chris Low of ESPN.

This news is fascinating on a few levels. Last week, Low said on the radio that it would be “difficult” for Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt to keep his job amidst an ongoing recruiting investigation and an underwhelming overall job performance. Later in the week, Low’s ESPN colleagues reported that Tennessee had paused new hires and extensions for football assistants due to the ongoing investigation.

We still don’t know whether will Pruitt will keep his job, but that pause has evidently been lifted to bring Steele onto the coaching staff.

Steele, who played linebacker at Tennessee and began his coaching career there 40 years ago, was a candidate for the Auburn head coaching job this offseason before a faction of power brokers reportedly blocked the deal and sent the coaching search into chaos. Auburn ultimately hired Bryan Harsin away from Boise State to replace Gus Malzahn.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

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  1. One of the excuses for why Steele left LSU for Auburn is because he was getting close to being eligible for Alabama state retirement. At the age of 62, he may have checked that box in the last few years. Given the dumpster fire that is Tennessee football, I find it hard to believe Steele would leave for UT to operate under the shadow of him being personally blocked for head coach (per your linked article.)

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