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The Seahawks hired former Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to be the team’s new head coach.
The Seahawks have hired Mike Macdonald as the ninth head coach in franchise history.
Macdonald, who has spent the past two seasons building one of the NFL’s best defenses as the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, becomes the youngest head coach in the NFL at 36 years old.
“What an honor,” Macdonald said after he and his wife, Stephanie, were greeted by team employees upon their arrival at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. “We are super excited to be here. Just getting to know John 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.”
Macdonald will take over head coaching duties from Pete Carroll, who held the title for the past 14 seasons, and will be tasked with, as general manager John Schneider outlined earlier this month, helping move the franchise forward while also maintaining the positive culture within the franchise.
“We want to keep our positive culture,” Schneider said. “Everything that’s been created here, everything in this building. There are so many special people in this building. It’s amazing to be on the phone with all of these agents and people that are interested in this position, and to be able to explain to them like, ‘Hey. There’s a foundation here and it’s incredible.'”
Under Macdonald, the Ravens led the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 16.5 points per game, sacks (60) and finished tied for first in takeaways (31), becoming the first team in league history to rank first in all three of those categories. The Ravens also ranked sixth in yards allowed at 301.4 per game.
“I think he’s the best (head-coaching) candidate out there right now,” Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen told reporters on Monday. “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.”
Known as a defensive innovator, Macdonald got his coaching start at Cedar Shoals High School in Georgia while he was attending the University of Georgia, then became a graduate assistant a Georgia while still in college. That led to a promotion at Georgia before Macdonald moved to the NFL as a coaching intern with the Ravens. From there Macdonald worked his way up to defensive backs coach then linebackers coach before becoming the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan in 2021.
After one season at Michigan, Macdonald returned to the Ravens as their defensive coordinator in 2022, finding immediate success as the Ravens ranked third in scoring defense (18.5 points per game), third in run defense (92.1 yards per game), third in red zone defense (46.4 percent) and fourth in third-down defense (34.9). With a defense that produced four All-Pros in Queen, linebacker Roquan Smith, safety Kyle Hamilton and defensive tackle Justin Madubuike, the defense was even better in 2023, helping the Ravens earn the AFC’s top seed with a 13-4 record.
“Mike is going to do a really good job,” Ravens linebacker Kyle Van Noy told reporters on Monday. “If he gets a head-coaching job, he’s going to be really, really good. Very solid coach, very good at Xs and Os, very good at communicating and getting the team galvanized in the right direction for the main goal – and he loves football. I think that it’s awesome for him to get looked at as a head coach at such a young age…I expect big things out of him.”