Will Yoder
Thursday January 12th, 2012

Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has told ESPN.com that he will not return to the team next season.

The third year coach claims that he has been fired by the university; however school officials are adamant that Steele was not fired, but that he left on his own to pursue other coaching opportunities.

The Tigers finished No. 71 in the nation in total defense and allowed 29 points per game. The club’s defense was their undoing in their 70-33 Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia. Steele served as the head coach of Baylor from 1999-2002. He also served as the Alabama defensive coordinator from 2007-08 before joining Clemson’s coaching ranks.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.