Alabama's Steele Grew up on Football, Tide

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - In some ways, Kevin Steele has returned
to his coaching roots.

The new Alabama defensive coordinator was roaming the sidelines at nearby Gordo High School, where his father coached, before starting elementary school. He saw his first college football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The former Baylor head coach was hired by Nick Saban in January after four years coaching linebackers for Florida State.

His uncle, Tommy White, was a fullback on Bear Bryant's first three teams in the late 1950s. His father, Pete, coached at Gordo and Bibb County high schools.

Steele played at Furman as a freshman, then transferred to Tennessee to play for Johnny Majors in 1978 and 1979.

He became a student assistant, a graduate assistant and later a paid assistant for the Volunteers. He also coached at Oklahoma State, New Mexico State and Nebraska before working for the NFL's Carolina Panthers for four seasons starting in 1995.

Then, he went to Baylor, where he was fired after posting a four-year record of 9-36.

Steele said he had an easy decision when Saban offered him the job at Alabama, giving him a chance to return to the area where he grew up.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)