The Baltimore Ravens are still in the thick of the NFL season.
They have a wildcard playoff game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, January 10.
Playoff teams normally have their coaching staffs poached after the season is over, and it looks like the Ravens will be no exception.
The twist on this move is that the coach is staying in the family.
Baltimore Ravens linebackers coach Mike Macdonald, 33, is rumored to be moving to the NCAA to work as defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan.
That’s right; Macdonald has worked for John Harbaugh for years and now could soon be working for his brother Jim Harbaugh.
The plan is for #Ravens LBs coach Mike Macdonald to accept the #Michigan DC job following the playoffs, source said. Macdonald spent time in college at UGA, now heads back with Michigan. https://t.co/uF0aYRlIrx
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 8, 2021
Mike Macdonald’s Ravens Career
Macdonald is completing his seventh season with the Baltimore Ravens.
Initially hired by John Harbaugh as a coaching intern, Macdonald worked as a defensive assistant, then defensive backs coach, and is in his third year as the linebackers coach.
Macdonald has worked closely with esteemed Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale who may also be leaving Baltimore after the season.
Macdonald’s Unconventional Path To Coaching
Mike Macdonald played high school football.
He was obsessed with the game, absorbing information so much so that he became an unofficial member of the coaching staff following a career-ending injury.
Macdonald enrolled at the University of Georgia.
He believed his football career was behind him; however, his love for the sport continued to the point that he took a coaching position at his high school while still a college student.
Macdonald coached the team’s linebackers and running backs while earning Coach of the Year honors at his alma mater.
His major at Georgia was finance, but at graduation in 2010, he decided to leave the security of numbers behind and take the leap to pursue coaching full-time.
He wasn’t unemployed long.
Georgia asked him to be a student assistant one month after his graduation.
Macdonald stayed an additional season to work with the defense, then one of the top 10 in the nation.
He then made the jump to the NFL with the Ravens at 26 years of age.
He has figured out a way to work with players that are both older and younger than he is.
Macdonald is honest and up-front with them.
He believes it is more important to be honest than to be liked.
“If I tell a player that working on a specific ability or technique will lead to more playing time, they can believe me.” he said.
Have heard Michigan and Jim Harbaugh do have interest in Ravens LB coach Mike Macdonald for the Wolverines vacant DC job (as @mzenitz had reported earlier).. Macdonald has impressed folks with the way he has developed young talent in Baltimore.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 9, 2021
There is no doubt that Mike Macdonald is working his way to a head coaching position sometime in the future.
But Macdonald is taking his time and learning as he goes.
Upon being appointed the Ravens LB coach, he said:
“There’s a lot of growth left before I’m ready to become a head coach. I’m focused on being the best linebackers coach in the NFL right now.”