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Michigan officially announces Jesse Minter as defensive coordinator

Michigan’s ready to roll on defense with all of its staff in place.

Ohio State v Michigan Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

Michigan officially announced their new defensive coordinator on Wednesday. The Wolverines have hired Vanderbilt defensive coordinator to be their new DC.

Michigan’s Press Release

“Jesse comes from a football family and loves coaching and the relationships you form with your players and staff,” said Harbaugh. “He will provide excellent leadership for our defense and will fit seamlessly with the coaching staff we have put together. Jesse is a teacher first, has a love and passion for the game and cares deeply for the players he coaches and works with daily. He came highly recommended last year by my brother John and Jesse and I have continued to have discussions and maintain a friendship which helped bring him to Ann Arbor. We are excited to welcome Jesse and his wife, Rachelle, as well as their daughter, Millie, and sons, Monte and Mac, to our Michigan Football family.”

“It is an honor to be joining Coach Harbaugh’s staff at Michigan,” said Minter. “I am excited to work alongside our coaches in helping the players reach their maximum potential on and off the field. I look forward to building great relationships with the players and staff and can’t wait to get to work representing the program. My family and I are excited to join the Ann Arbor and university community. Go Blue!”

Prior to his position with the Commodores, Minter spent four seasons with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens (2017-20). Minter was a defensive assistant for three years with the Ravens and coached the team’s defensive backs in 2020. He was part of consecutive AFC North Division championship teams in 2018 and 2019, and helped Baltimore reach the postseason in three of four seasons with the organization.

The Ravens ranked third in the NFL in fewest yards/passing attempts (6.4) and seventh in defensive passer rating (87.2) during the 2020 season. The secondary helped Baltimore list eighth in rushing yards allowed (1,740) and tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns surrendered (12).

In his first season with the organization (2017), Minter worked closely with secondary coach Chris Hewitt and the defensive backs. The Ravens led the NFL in interceptions (22) and turnover differential (+17) that year while Minter learned the responsibilities and details of quality control, self-scouting, and opponent analysis on both sides of the ball.

During the 2018 season, Minter helped Baltimore achieve the NFL’s top defensive unit, surrendering a league-low 292.9 yards per contest and 17.9 points per game, the second-lowest mark in the league. Quarterbacks were limited to a passer rating of 80.6 against the Ravens’ secondary. The following year in 2019, three Baltimore defensive backs made the Pro Bowl while the team finished top-six in the league in several categories: passer rating against (77.5), fewest points allowed per game (17.6), net yards allowed per game (300.6), rushing yards allowed per game (93.4), and passing yards allowed per game (207.2). The team won 14 games in the regular season, setting a new franchise record.

Prior to arriving in Baltimore, Minter spent four seasons at Georgia State (2013-16) as the defensive coordinator. The first two seasons at Georgia State established a foundation for a young program, which got its start in 2010, but a 6-7 season in 2015 marked a change as the program became bowl-eligible for the first time in its history. No team had a bigger improvement in scoring defense from 2014 to 2015, with GSU allowing 15 fewer points and 122.3 fewer yards per game. Six members of the defense earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors and Minter was recognized with a nomination for the 2015 Broyles Award, which goes to the top assistant in college football. The following year in 2016, the Panther defense finished top-25 nationally in red zone defense, yards per play allowed, and pass efficiency defense. Minter was also named the conference’s top recruiter by

Minter spent four seasons at Indiana State, the final two as the program’s defensive coordinator (2011-12) after coaching the linebackers during his initial two seasons (2009-10). During his two seasons as defensive coordinator, 13 Indiana State players earned All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors. In his final season with the Sycamores, Minter’s defensive unit ranked third in the FBS in scoring defense (14.32 points per game) and sixth in total defense (296.4 avg.). Indiana State also listed fifth in FCS in pass efficiency defense, 14th in passing yards allowed and 28th in rushing yards allowed.

He was a key component in the Sycamores’ turnaround under head coach Trent Miles, which saw Indiana State post a winning record in 2010 for the first time since 1996. The program added winning seasons in 2011 and 2012 to the Sycamores three straight winning seasons for the first time since the 1960s.

Minter was a defensive graduate assistant coach at Cincinnati during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, helping coach the linebackers. The Bearcats won the Big East Conference title in 2008 and earned a BCS berth in the Orange Bowl. Cincinnati’s defense led the nation in takeaways in 2007.

Minter attended the College of Mount Saint Joseph, where he played wide receiver and graduated with a degree in liberal studies (2005). During his time as a Lion, Minter helped the team compile a 30-10 record with consecutive conference titles and two Division III playoff appearances (2004-05). He began his coaching career as an intern at Notre Dame in 2006.

Other changes announced on the defensive side of the ball include:

  • Steve Clinkscale will be Michigan’s co-defensive coordinator and will remain defensive backs coach
  • Jay Harbaugh moves from tight ends coach to safeties coach, while remaining special teams coordinator
  • New defensive line coach Mike Elston will be Michigan’s recruiting coordinator