While it’s not yet known what Kevin Steele’s specific role will be on Jeremy Pruitt’s staff at Tennessee and what position group he will oversee, we know that he’ll be involved with the defense in some form and fashion alongside coordinator Derrick Ansley.

The Volunteers on Tuesday officially announced the hiring of the former Auburn defensive coordinator, and according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, it will be on a 2-year deal with Steele’s annual salary set at $450,000.

It’s a homecoming for the former Vols linebacker, who played in Knoxville in the late 1970s and served on the coaching staff for 3 seasons after graduation before returning as defensive backs coach in 1987 and 1988.

Pruitt is banking on Steele’s experience and ties to the area to help improve a Tennessee defense that was 7th in the SEC in both points allowed and yards allowed. And the heat is certainly on for Pruitt to improve the program’s fortunes following his 3rd season at Rocky Top. After an 8-5 mark and a 5-3 conference finish in 2019, the Volunteers struggled to a 3-7 record in 2020.