Michigan has named its replacement for Don Brown. Mike Macdonald will be the team's next defensive coordinator, Michigan announced on Sunday. Macdonald has spent the last seven seasons working for Jim Harbaugh's brother, John, and the Baltimore Ravens, whose season ended on Saturday night in the AFC Division Round against Buffalo. Macdonald, 35, was the Ravens' linebackers coach for the past three seasons and served as the defensive backs coach and as a defensive assistant prior to that.
"Mike is an excellent defensive mind who is highly respected across the NFL," Harbaugh said in a statement. "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."
Brown joined Jim Harbaugh's staff in 2016 after Harbaugh's first season in Ann Arbor and guided some of the Big Ten's top defenses in his first four seasons before a significant drop off in 2020. Even during those strong statistical seasons, there were still frustrating shortcomings exposed in losses to Ohio State. Brown and Michigan parted ways in December, and this hire has been one of the most intriguing of the coaching carousel. Given the timing of the announcement -- the day after the conclusion of the Ravens' season -- this decision has likely been the works for some time.
This is a return to college football for Macdonald, who worked as a defensive assistant for Mark Richt's staff at Georgia from 2011-13. He coached the inside and outside linebackers during his time in Athens, helping mentor All-SEC linebacker Ramik Wilson and contributing to two SEC East division title-winning teams.
"It is an honor to join Coach Harbaugh's staff at the University of Michigan," Macdonald said. "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!"