June 13, 2024

The defensive coordinator position inside the Baltimore Ravens organization will remain with Michigan.

After a two-week search for a successor, veteran NFL coach Don “Wink” Martindale is anticipated to be named the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

According to reports, Martindale, 60, interviewed with Sherrone Moore, the head coach in his first year, on Thursday in Ann Arbor. He replaces Jesse Minter, who left to become the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Martindale, an NFL veteran, was the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator for the previous two seasons. In addition, he served as John Harbaugh’s defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2018 to 2021. During his extended career, he also served as the team’s linebackers coach for six seasons.

The Ravens’ disguised-heavy, varied-front defensive scheme, which Mike Macdonald implemented at Michigan in 2021 and Minter ran the previous two seasons, was aided in design by Martindale. He will move players into zone looks, drop as many as nine into coverage, and blitz while leaving his secondary in man-coverage.

The change should aid in filling the continuity gap with the Michigan coaching staff and players, which Moore has highlighted since succeeding Jim Harbaugh on January 26. When the Wolverines won a national championship the previous season, they had the best defense in college football.

Prior to moving to Baltimore, Martindale coached linebackers for the Oakland Raiders from 2004 to 2008 and served as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 2010.

Martindale, a native of Dayton, Ohio, and a Defiance College alum, hasn’t coached at the collegiate level in more than 20 years. From 2000 to 2003, he worked for Jack Harbaugh as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Western Kentucky. In addition, he served as Rick Minter’s special teams and linebackers coach at Cincinnati (1996–1998), as well as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Western Illinois (1999).

Moore, Jim Harbaugh‘s replacement, now has his coordinators in place thanks to the impending hire. Kirk Campbell, the quarterbacks coach, was recently promoted to offensive coordinator while analyst J.B. Brown was assigned to special teams. Grant Newsome, an offensive line coach, is also employed at Michigan.

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