Interim coach Kevin Steele may be in line to have a more permanent title at Auburn.

The Tigers’ defensive coordinator has emerged as a serious candidate for the Auburn head coaching job, sources told

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 gained a strong reputation in his time at Auburn, and he’s developed relationships with influential Auburn boosters who believe he deserves a shot at running the program, reported. With Malzahn at the helm, Steele was given full authority over the defense and allowed to run that unit his way. The long-time defensive assistant was previously Baylor’s head coach from 1999-2003 where he went 9-36 in four seasons.

In 2015, Steele served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at LSU. He went to Baton Rouge from Alabama, where he spent the 2014 season coaching the Crimson Tide linebackers and special assistant to the head coach. In 2013, he served as Alabama’s director of player personnel.

Steele served as defensive coordinator at Alabama in 2007 and then held the same position at Clemson for three years from 2009-2011.

Before he joined the Alabama staff in 2007, Steele coached with Bobby Bowden at Florida State for four years (2003-06), as the executive head coach.