Saban fills two support staff roles

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama filled two support staff vacancies Thursday when it announced the hirings of former Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele as director of player personnel and former Vigor (Ala.) High coach Kerry Stevenson as director of player development.

For Steele, it was a welcome home after having spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons as the Crimson Tide's defensive coordinator under head coach Nick Saban. He most recently held the same position at Clemson.

Steele, 54, will be responsible for directing Alabama's recruiting efforts and will assist in other football-related activities. Clemson finished 19th in the ESPN class rankings in 2010 and eighth in 2011. He was fired by Clemson following the 2011 season after the Tigers gave up 70 points to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. He did not coach in 2012.

“We are excited to have Kevin back on our staff,” Saban said in a statement. “He did an excellent job here previously, and he knows our program from a recruiting standpoint as well as anyone. His organizational skills and people skills make him a perfect fit for this role. As recruiting in college football has evolved through the years, this position is one of the most important on our staff.”

Steele said in a statement released through the University that he's looking forward to the challenges of the position.

“I’ve worked at some great schools through the years, and nobody does it better than Coach Saban when it comes to running a program top to bottom," Steele said. "I’ve got family in the state, and we love Tuscaloosa, so we are thrilled to be back. This is such a special place, and I look forward to doing my part to help continue the success of the football program.”

Stevenson takes over for Kevin Sherrer who recently was named defensive coordinator at South Alabama. In a statement, UA said Stevenson's main priorities will be "off-the-field activities" and will serve as "an important resource in balancing the demands of academics, athletics and community outreach."

“We have known Kerry for many years, thought highly of him as a person, and had a great appreciation for the way he ran his program at Vigor,” Saban said. “He will be an excellent addition to our staff, and we look forward to him and his family joining us in Tuscaloosa.”

While at Vigor, Stevenson won the state championship in 2008 and finished runner-up in 2011. He coached former Alabama player B.J. Scott and current Alabama athletes Jalston Fowler and Marvin Shinn.

“I want to thank Coach Saban for this opportunity,” Stevenson said. “It is an honor to work for the best coach in the country at the best college football program in the country. Growing up not far from here, I have a special appreciation for the great history and tradition at The University of Alabama. Then as a high school coach in the state, it was impressive to see how Coach Saban built the program back up to an elite level. I’m excited to be here, and I know my family feels the same way.”