Ravens Name Mike Macdonald as New Defensive Coordinator
Former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald returns to Baltimore, this time as the Ravens defensive coordinator. Macdonald spent seven seasons in Baltimore serving as a defensive assistant, defensive backs coach, and finally coaching the linebackers for three seasons under former defensive coordinator Wink Martindale.
Macdonald left the Ravens at the end of the 2020 season to join John Harbaugh’s brother Jim at Michigan. The Wolverines defense under Macdonald allowed 330 yards per game while giving up only 17 points per game, finishing 20th in the country in total defense. Macdonalds defense was instrumental in helping the Wolverines capture their first Big Ten title since 2004, a number three ranking, and a playoff appearance.
Macdonald could be key in helping the Ravens create more of a pass rush, Michigan had two players with over 10 sacks, likely first overall pick Aidan Hutchinson, and potential first round pick David Ojabo.
Ravens press release:
RAVENS HIRE MIKE MACDONALD AS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
The Baltimore Ravens named Mike Macdonald their defensive coordinator, head coach John Harbaugh announced Thursday night.
Macdonald, 34, re-joins the Ravens after spending last season as Michigan’s defensive coordinator. Prior to his time with the Wolverines, Macdonald spent seven seasons (2014-20) in Baltimore, serving most recently as the linebackers coach from 2018-20. During his time with the Ravens, he also coached the defensive backs (2017), was a defensive assistant (2015-16) and worked his first year (2014) as a defensive coaching intern.
“Mike is one of us – a Raven through and through,” Harbaugh stated. “During his initial seven seasons with us, it was evident that his leadership, intelligence and passion would earn him the opportunity to be a defensive coordinator in the NFL.
“Mike has continuously proven himself, including when he led one of the country’s best defenses at Michigan last year. He is a proven play-caller who knows our system well. He also fully understands the standard of playing defense in Baltimore.”
In his lone season coordinating Michigan’s defense, Macdonald helped guide the Wolverines to their first Big Ten title since 2004 and an appearance in the College Football Playoff semifinals. While in Ann Arbor, Macdonald’s unit produced the nation’s eighth-ranked scoring defense (17.4 ppg), while finishing 20th in yards per game allowed (330.9) and 11th in red zone touchdown efficiency (45.7%). Macdonald also played an instrumental role in the standout performance of DE Aidan Hutchinson, who earned first-team All-American honors and was a Heisman Trophy finalist after producing a career high and single-season school record 14 sacks.
From 2018-20, Macdonald led a Ravens’ linebackers corps that helped Baltimore produce the NFL’s No. 1 overall defense (307.8 ypg) during that span, while also permitting the league’s fewest points per game (18.2). Veteran linebackers Matthew Judon (2019-20) and C.J. Mosley (2018) also each earned Pro Bowl nods under Macdonald’s tutelage. (With Macdonald as a member of the defensive staff, Mosley was a four-time Pro Bowler – 2014, 2016-18 – and became the team’s first-ever rookie Pro Bowler in 2014.)
In 2017, alongside pass game coordinator/secondary coach Chris Hewitt, Macdonald helped guide a defensive backfield that contributed to the NFL’s most interceptions (22) and forced turnovers (34). Baltimore also finished second in the league in both defensive passer rating (72.4) and defensive touchdowns (five). S Eric Weddle earned his second-consecutive Pro Bowl nod in 2017 after leading the team with six interceptions.
Macdonald originally began his coaching career guiding the linebackers and running backs at Cedar Shoals (Ga.) High School while he was attending the University of Georgia. Upon graduating from Georgia, he spent three seasons with the Bulldogs as a defensive graduate assistant before moving to the NFL ranks.
A native of Boston, Mass., Macdonald and his wife, Stephanie, were married in 2021.
Upcoming Press Conferences
Head coach John Harbaugh will hold his season-ending press conference on Monday (Jan. 31) at 1 p.m. Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s introductory press conference will take place on Tuesday (Feb. 1) at a time to be determined. Executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta will address the media next Friday (Feb. 4) at 10 a.m.