L. Levon Kirkland will assume the position of defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach. The Lamar, S.C. native played at Clemson University where he was a standout drafted in the second round of the 1992 draft. He played 11 seasons in the NFL beginning with nine years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and one each with the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles.
Known for his outstanding play, he was named NFL All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 1996. His 6’2” frame and 275 pound size was complemented by blazing speed that he used to cover sideline-to-sideline. Holmes and Kirkland met as teammates after Holmes was drafted in 1996. He became a starter in 1993, replacing David Little an NFL Pro Bowler himself. In 1997, he made his second consecutive NFL Pro Bowl after making 126 tackles of the season.
Kirkland was named to the Clemson University All-Centennial team and inducted into the school’s hall of fame in 2001. After retiring from the NFL, he returned to Clemson to earn his sociology degree in 2004. He has worked with Clemson University coordinating minority recruitment in university admissions. He also worked as linebacker coach at Woodmont High School until he was named head football coach at Shannon Forest Christian School in Greenville, S.C.
Kirkland’s accolades include 1,029 total tackles (NFL), 19.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, four forced fumbles, NFL Pro Bowl (1996,1997), NFL All-Pro (1996, 1997), NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year (1997), Pittsburgh Steelers MVP (1998,1999) and NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.
Kirkland earned several rewards for his consistent play in the NFL. He was tabbed as a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1990s, as well as voted Linebacker of the Year in 1997 by NFL alumni.
In 1996, with the loss of the team’s emotional leader in All-Pro linebacker Greg Lloyd, Kirkland would take control of the Steeler defense. He would go on to lead the team for the next four years before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks. His final season was in 2002, as he wrapped up his career as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Kirkland is married to the former Keisha Kirkland, and he has two children Kennedy and Zach.
|Position:||Defensive Line Coach|
|High School:||Lamar High School|
|Alma Mater:||Clemson University|