Kevin Steele is officially an on-field Tennessee football assistant coach. The hiring was formally announced by UT on Tuesday.

Steele is currently listed as a defensive assistant coach at this time.

“Kevin is someone I have respected and admired for a long time on and off the field,” Jeremy Pruitt said in a release. “I had the opportunity to learn and work with him during our time at Alabama and our friendship grew from there. He has outstanding knowledge of the game and understands what it takes to be successful in this conference. Having coached under the great Johnny Majors, he has a sincere appreciation for what it means to be a Tennessee Volunteer. We are thrilled to welcome Kevin and Linda back to Rocky Top.”

A 1981 graduate of the University of Tennessee and former Vols assistant, Steele returns to Rocky Top after serving as the defensive coordinator at Auburn the past five seasons. His units ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring defense in four out of those five seasons, while producing 12 NFL Draft picks and multiple first-rounders.

“Linda and I are excited to be coming home,” Steele said in the announcement. “Tennessee is a special place to me personally. I am truly grateful to Coach Pruitt and Coach Fulmer for this opportunity, and I am eager to get to work alongside them once again. I look forward to helping create an environment where our players are successful and truly embrace what it means to be a Volunteer.”

In addition to being Auburn’s defensive coordinator the past five seasons, Steele also has recent SEC coaching experience at LSU as defensive coordinator in 2015 and Alabama as defensive coordinator (2007), linebackers coach (2008), director of player personnel (2013) and special assistant to the head coach/linebackers (2014).