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Michigan officially announces Mike Macdonald as defensive coordinator

A new era begins for Michigan on defense.

Penn State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It was reported over a week ago that Ravens linebackers coach Mike Macdonald was in line to be Michigan’s next defensive coordinator. Macdonald remained on the Ravens staff for their playoff run, but that all came to an end on Saturday night when the Buffalo Bills eliminated Baltimore.

Less than 24 hours after the Ravens season-ending loss, Michigan officially announced the hiring of Macdonald.

“Mike is an excellent defensive mind who is highly respected across the NFL,” head coach 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.”

Macdonald, 35, was Baltimore’s LBs coach the past three seasons and was with the Ravens since 2014, working his way up from being an intern to a positions coach. Before making the jump to the NFL, Macdonald was on Georgia’s staff under Mark Richt.

“It is an honor to join Coach Harbaugh’s staff at the University of Michigan,” said Macdonald. “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!”

Macdonald comes into the fold after the firing of defensive coordinator Don Brown in December. It has been rumored that Florida linebackers coach Christian Robinson will be joining Michigan’s staff along with Ravens assistant Jesse Minter coming to Ann Arbor to be defensive backs coach.

The Ravens defense had the highest blitz rate in the league and relies heavily on man-coverage. Expect to see some philosophical elements of Michigan’s D remain intact, but this is a new era on that side of the ball and it’ll be interesting to see it all shakes out.