PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that Keith Butler has been named the team’s defensive coordinator.

Butler was the linebackers coach and has been with the team since 2003.

He replaces Dick LeBeau who left the team after 13-seasons with the Steelers.

“We are excited to announce Keith Butler as our defensive coordinator,” Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin said. “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.”

Butler spent 10-seasons as a linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks from 1978-1987 after being drafted 36th overall.

He still ranks second on the team’s all-time tackles list with 813.

Butler has been referred to as a coordinator in waiting for the past few years.

“It’s the dream of a lifetime,” said Butler. “There are only 32 of these jobs on this Earth. I am excited about the opportunity and I look forward to getting this process started immediately.”

Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette from the Post-Gazette joined 93.7 The Fan’s Cook and Poni Show to talk about the promotion.

He said that we all knew this was going to happen at some point and it happened.

He said he thought it was handled well but it’s always going to be tough to let someone go who still wants to coach here but the Steelers felt this was the right time to make the move.

“They are moving on,” Bouchette told the guys. “They felt they could have lost Butler because his contract was up and they thought it was time.”

Several teams have been interested in interviewing Butler, but he either turned them down, or the team blocked him from interviewing.

The Steelers defense finished 18th in the league this year.

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