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UM's Mike Macdonald officially named Ravens defensive coordinator


As expected, Mike Macdonald, who spent the last season as Michigan’s defensive coordinator, has returned to the Baltimore Ravens and has been named defensive coordinator.

Macdonald, 34, joined Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan staff a year ago as a first-time play-caller after seven seasons coaching on older brother John Harbaugh’s Ravens staff. He signed a three-year deal with the Wolverines but according to his contract, he does not owe Michigan money if he accepts an NFL “primary play-calling” coordinator position.

The Detroit News reported Wednesday that Macdonald was expected to be named Ravens defensive coordinator by the end of this week.

"Mike is one of us – a Raven through and through," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a release late Thursday. "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."

The Ravens' job opened last Friday when John Harbaugh parted ways with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale after four seasons. Reports out of Baltimore emerged late Tuesday night that Macdonald was considered a top candidate to replace Martindale.

More: Michigan defensive back Sammy Faustin enters transfer portal

Jim Harbaugh, who just completed his seventh season as Michigan head coach will now have to fill Macdonald’s void. Harbaugh has made one offseason addition to his coaching staff, hiring former Michigan linebacker Mike Elston from Notre Dame, where he spent the last 12 seasons, as defensive line coach. Elston replaces Shaun Nua who moved on to USC after three seasons in Ann Arbor.

Michigan was 12-2 last season, won the Big Ten championship for the first time since 2004 and earned a spot in the College Football Playoff where the Wolverines lost to eventual national champion Georgia in a national semifinal.

Macdonald reshaped the Wolverines’ defense featuring edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, who combined for 25 sacks and are both projected first-round NFL Draft picks. Hutchinson had 14 sacks to set a single-season program record. Macdonald’s defense, which was quickly embraced by the players, ranked 20th overall nationally and No. 8 in scoring.

achengelis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @achengelis