Michigan has found its next defense coordinator.
On Sunday, Jim Harbow’s football program announced the hiring of Mike MacDonald, a 33-year-old Baltimore Ravens assistant coach.
MacDonald replaces Don Brown, who was fired on December 22 after five seasons at the helm of the Wolverine defense.
In a statement, Harbaugh praised MacDonald as an “excellent defensive mind”
“He was a valuable member of the Baltimore Ravens staff and had a passion for teaching, coaching and developing his players,” said Harbo. “We are excited about everything Mike brings to our defense, team and university, and we look forward to welcoming him and his fiancée Stephanie to our Michigan football family.”
MacDonald has spent the last seven seasons in Baltimore, where he made a meteoric rise in the coaching profession. The last three were spent as a linebacker coach while he trained defenders in 2017 and served as a defensive assistant in 2016 and 2015.
He first joined Ravens in 2014 as an intern after serving as a graduate assistant professor at the University of Georgia for three seasons. MacDonald has no direct experience in coordinating in college or professional levels, which makes this an extraordinary hire for Harbaugh.
“I am honored to join Coach Harbo’s team at the University of Michigan,” MacDonald said in a statement. “I firmly believe in his vision and I am excited to get to work. Our staff will work tirelessly for the development of our young men both on and off the field – I can’t wait to meet and develop relationships with our players, staff and community!
MacDonald has coached NFL Pro Bowl players over the past five seasons with the Ravens, a wide range of talent that includes Matthew Juden (2019-20), CJ Mosley (2018) and Eric Weddell (2017-18). The Raven staff is led by John Harbo, Jim Harbo’s brother.
In Georgia, MacDonald graduated summa cum laude from Georgia with a degree in finance and a master’s degree in sports management. While in college, he also served as an assistant coach at the nearby Cedar Shoals High School.
MacDonald takes on a largely young and inexperienced defense, a unit designed to match Brown’s fast, aggressive style of play. The Werewolves will lose defensive star Kwity Paye and junior quarterback Cam McGrone in the NFL, while Aidan Hutchinson and quarterback Brad Hawkins, both eligible to leave, have announced plans to return in 2021.
Details of the McDonald’s contract were not immediately available, but his arrival could lead to significant changes in Michigan’s defensive lineup. Two assistant coaches, Sean Noah (defensive line) and Mike Zordic (corner marriages), are working on expired contracts, while security coach Bob Shop, hired last year, spent most of 2020 working remotely, a decision. taken from a private matter.