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Louisville football: Kevin Steele declines defensive coordinator offer

Bobby Petrino continues to scramble to find a defensive coordinator after Kevin Steele declined the offer to join Bobby Petrino's staff.

Andy Lyons

Much of Bobby Petrino's success at Louisville will depend on his ability to assemble a staff that can recruit well and a defensive staff to help equal what most expect will be an extremely productive offense. So far, he's not off to a rousing start on the latter. After being rumored to be bringing in Randy Shannon and the Gene Chizik as defensive coordinators, most expected last night that he would be soon announce the addition of current Alabama staffer and former Florida State and Clemson defensive assistant Kevin Steele as his defensive coordinator. Steele had mixed results at best as a coordinator, but is very well liked in the profession and was viewed as a significant boost in recruiting.

It is now being reported that Steele has decided not to join Petrino's staff and will instead remain at Alabama, likely with an eye to returning as an on field assistant in the near future. This is certainly a disappointment to both Petrino and Louisville fans hoping for a splash at a vital coaching position. Since it is also likely that Nick Holt will remain at Western Kentucky, it is unclear where Petrino will turn for his defensive coordinator position.

If I could play Tom Jurich for a moment or two, let me throw a couple of names out there. First, current linebackers coach Brian Jean Mary Tweeted this morning that he has not interviewed at Texas yet and is waiting to hear from Petrino to see if he will be retained. He is well liked by current players and recruits a like and offers even more continuity being that he is familiar with recruits, players, and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt.

The other name you're likely to hear is Tyrone Nix. Nix has most recently been at Middle Tennessee State, but has also served as a position coach and coordinator at South Carolina, Southern Miss and Ole Miss. Whoever the hire is, he'd need to get here soon and get going quickly because Louisville has already suffered the decommitments of several of its highest profile defensive players since Charlie Strong left for Texas.

And if all else fails, hey, Greg Schiano isn't doing anything.