Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted Keith Butler to defensive coordinator on Tuesday.
Butler served as the team's linebackers coach the past 12 years and replaces legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who resigned on Jan. 10.
"It's the dream of a lifetime," said Butler on Tuesday. "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."
Prior to joining the Steelers, Butler was linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns for four years. He has also served as defensive coordinator for Arkansas State University and linebackers/defensive ends coach at the University of Memphis, where he and current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin were on the same coaching staff in 1996.
"We are excited to announce Keith Butler as our defensive coordinator," said Tomlin in a statement Tuesday. "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 was a three-year starting linebacker at Memphis, leading the team in tackles his junior and senior year. He was a second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 1978 and played 10 seasons with Seattle, where he still ranks second all-time in franchise history with 813 tackles.
LeBeau, 77, helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls following the 2005 and '08 seasons. He had been with the Steelers' organization for 16 seasons.