Skip to main content

Seahawks hire Ravens DC Mike Macdonald as new head coach

Mike Macdonald's handiwork in Baltimore produced the NFL's top scoring defense in 2023. It also caught the eye of a team on the opposite coast.

The Seattle Seahawks have hired Macdonald as their new head coach, the team announced Wednesday night.

NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Seattle was hiring the Ravens defensive coordinator earlier in the day.

Macdonald has remained among Seattle's top targets since it parted ways with Pete Carroll in January. The team regarded the Ravens defensive coordinator so highly, the Seahawks were willing to wait until after the Super Bowl to hire him if his Ravens had reached the big game, per Rapoport. Thanks to Baltimore's loss to Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, the Seahawks are getting their man 11 days before Super Bowl LVIII kicks off.

There's one obvious difference between Carroll and Macdonald: age. The 36-year-old Macdonald is half the age of the 72-year-old Carroll, giving Seattle an option with a bright future and ideally, plenty of runway on his career timeline.

Otherwise, though, the Seahawks are replacing one defensive-minded coach with another. Judging by the performance of Baltimore's defense in 2023 -- including an AFC title game second half in which it kept Kansas City off the scoreboard entirely -- Seattle just might have landed the best one available.

Macdonald's rise to the top job in Seattle is nothing short of remarkable. Sure, we're in an age in which owners and general managers no longer shy from plucking a coach in his mid-30s (or even younger, if you're Sean McVay), but Macdonald has just two years under his belt as an NFL coordinator. He jumped from one Harbaugh family program (Jim's University of Michigan football team) to another (John's Ravens) in 2022 and produced fantastic results, coaching the Ravens to a top-nine finish in total defense and a No. 3 ranking in scoring defense in his first season.

A year later, he improved in both categories, overseeing a unit that improved to a top-six finish in total defense and the No. 1 ranking in scoring defense in 2023.

Macdonald's football journey is directly tied to the Harbaughs, as he began his NFL career as a coaching intern under John in Baltimore in 2014, rose to position coach and departed for one year spent as Jim's defensive coordinator in Ann Arbor. After two years in the same role in Baltimore, Macdonald has proven he's ready for the top job.

Seattle believes as much, giving him a six-year deal -- one year more than Jim Harbaugh received from the Chargers last week.

Macdonald will aim to bring his defensive expertise and leadership skills into a new partnership with general manager John Schneider, who was retained following Carroll's departure and will continue to oversee the personnel side of the Seahawks' operation, this time with a younger coach alongside him.

With Schneider's fingerprints already all over a young and talented defense in Seattle, Macdonald will have the tools to craft another winner.

Related Content