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Michigan football hires Ravens LB coach Mike Macdonald as new defensive coordinator

Macdonald replaces Don Brown on Jim Harbaugh’s staff

Mike Macdonald
Mike Macdonald (Ravens.com)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan football has hired Baltimore Ravens linebacker coach Mike Macdonald as its new defensive coordinator.

Macdonald’s hire became official Sunday after the Ravens were knocked out of the NFL playoffs on Saturday night. He replaces former defensive coordinator Don Brown, who was fired after five seasons with the Wolverines and has since been hired by Jedd Fisch Arizona.

“It is an honor to join coach (Jim) Harbaugh’s staff at the University of Michigan,” Macdonald said. “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. Stephanie and I are excited to join the Michigan family, and we are very thankful for this opportunity -- Go Blue!”

Baltimore Ravens

Macdonald, 35, spent the last seven seasons on John Harbaugh’s staff in Baltimore. He will now coach under the other Harbaugh brother in the college ranks.

“Mike is an excellent defensive mind who is highly respected across the NFL,” Jim Harbaugh said. “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.”

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Macdonald was a defensive coaching intern for Baltimore in 2014, spent the following two seasons as a defensive assistant, took over defensive backs in 2017 and spent the last three years coaching linebackers.

The Ravens won the AFC North Division twice during that span and finished second three times. They had a top 10 scoring defense six of the seven years, including second-place finishes in 2018 and 2020.

When Macdonald coached the secondary in 2017, the Ravens led the NFL in turnovers.

He’s coached at least one Pro Bowl player in five straight seasons with Baltimore: LB Matthew Judon (2019-20), LB C.J. Mosley (2018) and safety Eric Weddle (2016-17).

College coaching career

Before coaching in the NFL, Macdonald spent three years at his alma mater, Georgia, under longtime coach Mark Richt. Georgia went 30-11 with three New Year’s Day bowl games.

Macdonald graduated summa cum laude with a finance degree from Georgia’s Terry College of Business in 2010.

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He was hired as a student assistant in May 2010 to help coach and run the offensive scout team. He worked with outside linebackers before moving to inside linebackers in 2011.

Macdonald earned his master’s degree in sports management from Georgia in 2013 during his time as the safeties and defensive quality control coach for the Bulldogs.

Under Macdonald, Ramik Wilson was named to the All-SEC first team in 2013 after leading the conference with 133 tackles and 11 tackles for loss.

Georgia’s defense was top 20 in the nation in 2012 and fifth in total yards allowed in 2011.

Macdonald played football and baseball at Centennial High School in Roswell, Georgia.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.