Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh appears to have found his defensive coordinator.
football Edit

What We Know About Jim Harbaugh's New Defensive Coordinator...

Veteran NFL reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted today what TheWolverine's Chris Balas reported this morning in our INSIDE THE FORT, PART 1, in that Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh will hire Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach Mike Macdonald as the Maize and Blue's new defensive coordinator once the NFL playoffs are wrapped up.

Macdonald will of course replace the departed Don Brown, who coached the Wolverine defense from 2016-20 before being relieved of his duties last month. Brown has since been hired by new Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch to run the Wildcats' defense.

RELATED: Inside the Fort, Part 1: New D.C. Frontrunner, Harbaugh Update

RELATED: ITF Extra: Thursday Night Harbaugh — Deal Imminent?

Baltimore Ravens LBs coach Mike Macdonald.
Mike Macdonald graduated from Georgia's Terry College of Business in 2010. (AP Images)
Click the image to sign up for TheWolverine.com, free for 60 days!
Click the image to sign up for TheWolverine.com, free for 60 days!

The Ravens' head coach is John Harbaugh, who is of course the brother of Wolverine head man Jim Harbaugh. Macdonald has worked with the former since 2014, where he has had various roles on Baltimore's defense.

He worked with the secondary in 2014 while serving as a defensive intern, before being named a defensive assistant and aiding the linebackers in 2015. Macdonald then worked with the secondary once again in 2016, assisting a defensive backfield that finished with an NFL-best 18 interceptions.

The Ravens' defense once again led the league in interceptions with 22 in 2017, as well as turnovers forced (34). Macdonald received a promotion in 2018 when he was officially named the club's linebackers coach (a position he has held ever since), helping engineer a defense that was tops in the NFL in fewest yards per game allowed and second in fewest points.

It was much of the same in 2019, with Baltimore allowing the NFL's third fewest points and fourth fewest yards. The 2020 campaign, meanwhile, saw the Ravens' defense conclude seventh in yards allowed per game.

Macdonald coached with the Georgia Bulldogs (his alma mater) from 2011-13, originally joining as a student assistant in 2010 to coordinate the offensive scout team. He was then named a defensive grad assistant in 2011 and helped craft a Georgia defense that finished fifth nationally in fewest yards allowed per game.

He held the same role in 2012 and saw UGA finish eighth nationally in yards allowed per game, before helping mentor linebacker Ramik Wilson to first-team All-SEC honors in 2013 after the 'backer posted a conference-best 133 tackles and 11 tackles for loss.

Stay tuned for more news on this development in the days to come…


• Talk about this article inside The Fort

• Watch our videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel

• Listen and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes

• Learn more about our print and digital publication, The Wolverine

• Sign up for our daily newsletter and breaking news alerts

• Follow us on Twitter: @TheWolverineMag, @Balas_Wolverine, @EJHolland_TW, @AustinFox42, @JB_ Wolverine, Clayton Sayfie and @DrewCHallett

• Like us on Facebook