On Wednesday, Auburn announced a new three-year extension for defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, and according to ESPN’s Chris Low, Steele’s new deal, which runs through 2022, makes him the highest paid defensive coordinator in the nation making $2.5 million per season.

Steele’s salary increase pushed him past Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko. Former LSU coordinator Dave Aranda, who was recently hired at Baylor, made $2.5 million as the highest paid in college football in 2019.

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

Steele joined Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn following Will Muschamp’s departure to South Carolina in 2016. He previously held the same position at LSU under Les Miles. In four seasons under Steele, Auburn’s defense has ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense. The Tigers are in an exclusive group of only five FBS teams to hold opponents under 20 points per game in each of the last four seasons.