Auburn DC Kevin Steele reportedly becomes highest-paid assistant

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has agreed to a new contract that will pay him handsomely. 

According to ESPN and, Steele’s new deal will pay him $2.5 million annually, making him the highest-paid assistant coach in college football. Steele’s new contract, which was announced by the school on Wednesday, runs through the 2022 season. 

According to the USA Today coaches salary database, Steele was previously making $1.9 million per year — fourth-most in the country behind LSU’s Dave Aranda ($2.5 million), Clemson’s Brent Venables ($2.2 million) and Texas A&M’s Mike Elko ($2.1 million). With Aranda accepting the head-coaching job at Baylor, Steele now tops the list of assistant coach salaries. 

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele agreed to a new three-year contract through 2022. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Steele has been at Auburn for four seasons and the Tigers have ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense each season. Auburn is one of five FBS schools to hold opponents under 20 points per game in four straight seasons. The Tigers gave up 19.5 points per game in 2019, including holding national champion LSU to a season-low 23 points. 

"Kevin has done a fantastic job with our defense the last four years, making it one of the best in the country," Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. "This will provide great stability and leadership for our defense in the future. I'm appreciative of Kevin's hard work."

Before arriving at Auburn, Steele was the defensive coordinator at LSU, Alabama and Clemson. The 61-year-old also had a four-year run as the head coach at Baylor and stints as an assistant at Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Florida State and with the Carolina Panthers. 

Auburn went 9-4 in 2019.

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