Jan. 24, 2003
Head football coach Bobby Bowden announced the hiring of Kevin Steele as Florida State’s new linebackers coach on Friday. Steele comes to FSU after spending four years as the head coach at Baylor. A 1981 Tennessee graduate, Steele coached the linebackers for the Carolina Panthers before taking the head coaching position Baylor in 1999. He has also served as an assistant coach at Nebraska, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and New Mexico State.
“We are very fortunate to bring in Kevin Steele,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “Anytime you hire a coach with his knowledge and experience, your program benefits. I know he will do an outstanding job with our defense and especially our linebackers.”
Steele replaces Joe Kines, who went to Alabama to take the defensive coordinator position. Kines spent three years at Florida State after taking over for long-time assistant Chuck Amato. The Seminoles return all three starters at linebacker in 2003, including second-team All-ACC selections Michael Boulware and Kendyll Pope.
“The opportunity to be a part of the Florida State program is a special one,” said Steele. “It is an honor to work for a man like Coach Bowden and be a part of what he represents.”
Steele spent his freshman year at Furman before transferring to Tennessee and playing linebacker for Johnny Majors from 1978-79. He stayed on as a student assistant in 1980 and then as a graduate assistant in 1981. He was promoted to outside linebackers coach in 1982.
Steele then moved to New Mexico State, where he served as recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach in 1983. From 1984-86, he coached linebackers and tight ends at Oklahoma State. He returned to his alma mater in 1987 and spent two years as the defensive backs coach.
From 1989-94, Steele coached the linebackers under Nebraska legend Tom Osborne. During his six years in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers went 60-11, appeared in six bowl games, won four conference championships and captured the 1994 national championship with a 13-0 record.
In 1995, Steele made the jump to the NFL as the linebackers coach for the Carolina Panthers. Under head coach Dom Capers, the Panthers reached the NFC Championship game in their second season of existence (1996). After four years with Carolina, Steele was hired as head coach at Baylor in 1999.
The 44-year old Steele is a native of Dillon, SC. He and his wife, Linda, have a 16-year old son (Gordon) and a 13-year old daughter (Caroline).