Few saw Auburn’s hire of Boise State’s Bryan Harsin coming following the firing of Gus Malzahn on The Plains but it’s fair to say just about everyone saw the new Tigers coach’s first big decision coming.

Following the winding coaching search that eventually landed on the former Boise State head coach, the biggest question on The Plains quickly transitioned to Harsin’s first Tiger coaching staff.

Now we have our first bit of information on Harin’s Auburn staff as the SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic is reporting that defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will not be returning to the program in 2021.

“I’m told Auburn interim Head Coach Kevin Steele will not return as a part of the staff next season,” Cubelic shared on Friday.

During his introductory Auburn press conference, Harsin claimed that so many coaches were reaching out to him, he didn’t even recognize all the numbers blowing up his cellphone.

For the sake of Auburn fans, that had better be an accurate description as Steele has been one of the best defensive coaches and recruiters in recent SEC seasons.

But Steele’s ability to coach and recruit likely wasn’t the only factor in Harsin’s decision as the coordinator was nearly named Auburn’s head coach before a “#StopSteele” campaign gained momentum among the fan base.

The behind-the-scenes drama likely ended any chance Steele had of sticking around on The Plains. Now we wait to found out where he lands, which could certainly be in the SEC with defensive coordinator openings at LSU and South Carolina — with more spots potentially opening in the days to come.