Baltimore Ravens hire Michigan's Mike Macdonald as defensive coordinator

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The Baltimore Ravens hired Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald for their vacant defensive coordinator position, the team announced Thursday night.

Macdonald, 34, will be returning to the franchise he worked for from 2014-20 under head coach John Harbaugh. He began his time in the NFL as an intern before advancing to defensive assistant, defensive backs coach and linebackers coach.

It was after the 2020 season that John Harbaugh recommended Macdonald to his brother, Jim Harbaugh, as a potential candidate for defensive coordinator in Ann Arbor. Macdonald, who had never called plays at any level, impressed Jim Harbaugh with his attention to detail and knowledge of the game, ultimately accepting the position in January of 2021.

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Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald watches warm up before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.
Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald watches warm up before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Macdonald worked wonders with a unit that struggled under former coordinator Don Brown during an abbreviated 2020 campaign. His NFL-style defense maximized the talents of edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, whose stock rose along with that of their coach. The Wolverines finished the season ranked 8th in scoring defense and 20th in total defense in Macdonald's lone season.

"Mike is one of us – a Raven through and through," John Harbaugh said in a statement announcing the hire. "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."

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Ravens name Michigan's Mike Macdonald their new defensive coordinator