Pittsburgh Steelers Name Keith Butler As New Defensive Coordinator


The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Tuesday that Keith Butler, the team’s linebackers coach since 2003, is their new defensive coordinator.

Butler, who will turn 59 in May, has been the team’s linebackers coach the past 12 years, and replaces Dick LeBeau, who resigned on Saturday, Jan. 10.

With his coming on board in 2003, Butler has been considered instrumental in the development of Pittsburgh’s linebacking crew. He has coached 10 Pro Bowl selections, seven AP-All Pro first or second-team selections and three Steelers’ MVP honors.

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He was honored in 2008 when he was named National Football League Linebacker Coach of the Year by Pro Football Weekly.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said on the team’s web site, “We are excited to announce Keith Butler as our defensive coordinator. Keith has been an integral part of our defensive game planning and schemes for several years and we look forward to him moving into the role of calling the defense. His passion and energy will be important to us taking the next steps to being one of the top defenses in the NFL.”

Before joining the Steelers, Butler was linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns from 1999-2002. He served as defensive coordinator for the Arkansas State University Red Wolves in 1998, and linebackers/defensive ends coach with the University of Memphis Tigers from 1990-1997. It was with the Tigers where he and Tomlin were on the same staff in 1996.

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Anniston, Alabama was a three-year starting inside linebacker for Memphis, leading the team in tackles his junior and senior year. He was selected in the second-round of the NFL Draft, the 36th pick overall, by the Seattle Seahawks in 1978 and played 10 seasons with Seattle. He ranks second all-time in the Seattle record books with 813 tackles.

LeBeau, 77, helped the Black and Gold claim two Super Bowl championships following the 2005 and 2008 seasons. He had been with the Steelers’ organization for a total of 16 seasons.

The Steelers were ranked No. 18 in the NFL in total defense during the 2014 regular season. They were listed sixth against the pass and 27th against the run.

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