Auburn football is searching for its next head coach after firing Gus Malzahn this past weekend – a lead candidate may have already emerged.
A new report indicates Auburn’s current defensive coordinator Kevin Steele might be the lead man for the job, per John Talty of AL.com. That would obviously a surprising decision after paying $21 million to buy out Malzahn’s contract.
“Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has emerged as a serious candidate for the Auburn head coaching job, sources told AL.com,” Talty writes. “Multiple sources even believe that Steele could be the leading candidate now to replace Gus Malzahn. Steele, who arrived at Auburn in 2016, was named the interim head coach Sunday following Malzahn’s dismissal.”
Steele has plenty of supporters from boosters and those within the Auburn program. It looks like the Tigers have found their man and a decision could soon be coming.
From me and @mzenitz, per sources: Kevin Steele has emerged as a serious candidate for the Auburn head coaching job, potentially even the lead candidate now.
Multiple sources have also said they don’t expect Hugh Freeze to get the job.https://t.co/jNWMfodyIT
— John Talty (@JTalty) December 14, 2020
Auburn fans are going to be disappointed if the football program picks Kevin Steele. There are plenty more attractive options like Liberty’s Hugh Freeze and Oregon’s Mario Cristobal. But Freeze may have already been ruled out and Cristobal is reported in talks with Oregon about a contract extension.
Steele isn’t flashy, but within-program hires are successful half the time. The Auburn defensive coordinator could be all the Tigers need to take the jump and become an SEC contender.
For now, Steele is the lead candidate. But these coaching searches evolve quickly, so stay tuned.