Michigan hiring Ravens linebacker coach Mike Macdonald as defensive coordinator

Friday, January 8, 2021 - 11:11am

Michigan has found its new defensive coordinator.

Michigan has found its new defensive coordinator. Buy this photo
Miles Macklin/Daily

Baltimore Ravens linebacker coach Mike Macdonald will become Michigan’s defensive coordinator following the Ravens’ playoff run. Michigan officially confirmed the move Jan. 17 after the Ravens were eliminated from the playoffs. The news was originally reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

“Mike is an excellent defensive mind who is highly respected across the NFL,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said in a press release. “He has been a valuable member of the Baltimore Ravens staff, and shown a passion for teaching, coaching and developing his players. We are excited about everything that Mike brings to our defense, team and University, and look forward to welcoming him and his fiancé Stephanie to our Michigan Football family.”

In addition to hiring Macdonald to replace Don Brown, the Wolverines brought on Mike Hart to coach running backs. It has also been reported that Ben McDaniels will not be returning, though a replacement has not yet been announced. With Macdonald’s hire now official, it is quite possible there will be more staff changes on the defensive side.

According to the Detroit News, Bob Shoop — who was away from the team for the entire 2020 season — is not expected to be retained. Additionally, defensive line coach Shaun Nua and cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich now have expired contracts, though it is possible Michigan comes to a new agreement with them or buys out coaches that are still on their deals.

Macdonald, in his third season as the Ravens’ linebackers coach, doesn’t have coordinator experience at the professional or college level. He worked as Baltimore’s defensive backs coach and as a defensive assistant before assuming his current role and he was also a graduate assistant at Georgia. In 2020, the Ravens defense was second in the NFL in points allowed per game and seventh in total yardage allowed. Baltimore made it to the AFC divisional round before losing, 17-3, to the Buffalo Bills. In Macdonald’s three seasons coaching linebackers for the Ravens, he had at least one Pro Bowl performer each year.

“It is an honor to join coach Harbaugh’s staff at the University of Michigan,” Macdonald said in the release. “I firmly believe in his vision and am excited to get to work. Our staff will work tirelessly to develop our young men both on and off the field —– I cannot wait to meet and develop relationships with our players, staff, and community!