Seahawks hire Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald as head coach

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens will be looking for a new defensive coordinator after Mike Macdonald was hired by the Seattle Seahawks as their head coach on Wednesday.

Macdonald is now the youngest head coach in the NFL at age 36 on the heels of a mercurial rise with the Ravens. He succeeds Pete Carroll, who is 72.

Macdonald is receiving a six-year contract, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who was first with the news. The Seahawks moved to hire Macdonald after meeting with him for a second time Wednesday, a day after their initial interview in Baltimore.

“What an honor,” Macdonald said after being greeted by team employees, according to the team’s website. “We are super excited to be here. Just getting to know [GM] John [Schneider] and the rest of the folks, the reputation of this place, what drew us here was the people. That’s why we’re here, to bring a championship back to Seattle and the 12s.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun, we’re going to work our tails off, and it’s going to be an incredible ride. We’re going to be here for a long time, and we’re going to win a lot of football games.”

In just Macdonald’s second year as a coordinator, the Ravens allowed the fewest points per game (16.5), and recorded the most sacks (60) and takeaways (31). In Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game, the Ravens held the Chiefs scoreless in the second half.

Macdonald had been mentioned for head coaching jobs in Washington, Carolina, and Tennessee.

His players had high praise for him as a coach and person.

“I think he’s the best [head-coaching] candidate out there right now,” inside linebacker Patrick Queen said. “I don’t think anybody does it like him. Nobody cares like him. Nobody will do what he does. He will not rest until he has everything right. Whoever gets him, if he leaves, they’re getting the best candidate out there. The guy is all around just the best person I’ve ever been around, coach-wise [and] person-wise. He really cares and truly cares about the players, the people around the organization, and the fans.”

Macondals rejoined the Ravens as defensive coordinator in 2022 after spending the 2021 season as Michigan’s defensive coordinator, leading the Wolverines to the nation’s No. 8 scoring defense (17.4 points per game). In 2022, Baltimore had a top 5 defense in multiple categories, including the NFL’s No. 3 unit in points allowed per game (18.5). The Ravens were also third against the run (92.1) and in red-zone touchdown percentage (46.4) while finishing fourth on third down (34.9 percent)

Before his time at Michigan, Macdonald spent seven seasons (2014-20) in Baltimore, serving as a linebackers coach (2018-20), defensive backs coach (2017), defensive assistant (2015-16) and defensive coaching intern (2014).

Among the Ravens’ in-house candidates to succeed Macdonald are associate head coach and defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, linebackers coach Zach Orr, and pass game coordinator Chris Hewitt.

The Dolphins have expressed interest in Weaver to fill their vacant defensive coordinator position after Vic Fangio left to join the Philadelphia Eagles. Wilson and Orr are candidates for the defensive coordinator job in Green Bay.

This story has been updated.

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