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LSU's Kevin Steele is candidate for Auburn defensive coordinator

LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has emerged as the leading candidate for the same position at Auburn, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has been looking for a replacement for Will Muschamp, who left earlier this month after just one season to become the head coach at South Carolina. The Tigers are looking for their third defensive coordinator since Malzahn was hired prior to the 2013 season.

Auburn faces Memphis on Wednesday in the Birmingham Bowl, and nothing would be finalized until after the game.

The 57-year-old Steele is a 34-year coaching veteran who has worked for some of the biggest names in the sport — Nick Saban, Bobby Bowden, Tom Osborne, Les Miles and John Majors.

LSU, which capped its season with a 56-27 win over Texas Tech in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl on Tuesday night, ranked fifth in the SEC this past season in total defense and entered the bowl game ranked No. 3 nationally in fewest plays allowed of 20 yards or longer.

The Tigers held Texas Tech to nearly 20 points below its season average of 46.6 points per game.

Kevin Steele, whose defense at LSU ranked fifth in the SEC this season, has also been an assistant at Alabama, Clemson and Florida State since 2003. AP Photo/Hilary Scheinuk

Auburn will be Steele's fourth different SEC coaching stop. He also coached at Tennessee, his alma mater, and had two different stints at Alabama under Saban. He's been a successful recruiter everywhere he's been.

"He's an outstanding coach and as strong as anybody I've ever seen in recruiting," Bowden said.

Steele was the head coach at Baylor from 1999 to 2002 and also coached in the NFL as the linebackers coach for the Carolina Panthers from 1995 to 1998.

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