Steele was the Tide’s director of player personnel in 2013.
Steele spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons on Saban’s staff at Alabama. He was the defensive coordinator in 2007 and an associate head coach in 2008.
“I’ve known Kevin for a long time and he will do an excellent job for us in this role,” Saban said in the school’s news release. “Kevin is very familiar with our program from an organizational standpoint as well as our defense from coaching here previously so he’ll be able to jump right in and not miss a beat.
“He possesses outstanding organizational skills along with great people skills which make him an excellent coach, teacher and recruiter.”
Steele will fill the void left by secondary coach Greg Brown, who accepted the same position at Louisville.
The move allows Steele to coach the inside linebackers and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to coach the secondary as the two did in 2007-08.
Last month, Steele turned an offer to be Louisville’s defensive coordinator.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into an on the field coaching role and I want to thank Coach Saban and the University of Alabama for all they have done for me and my family through the years,” Steele said in the school’s news release. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with probably three of the best to ever coach the game from Coach Osborne to Coach Bowden to Coach Saban, so there is a great appreciation that comes when you have a special opportunity like this.”
With Lance Thompson coaching the outside linebackers and Bo Davis coaching the defensive line, the Tide’s on-field defensive staff is the same as it was in 2007, Saban’s first year at Alabama. The only change is Smart is now the defensive coordinator.
Steele was the defensive coordinator at Clemson from 2009-11. He returned to Alabama in 2013 after a year away from football in a role that focused on recruiting and administrative work. Steele made a salary of $200,000 last season.