Michigan Defensive Coordinator: 5 Candidates to replace Mike MacDonald

Former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald
Photo Credit: Junfu Han / TNS

On Thursday, the Baltimore Ravens officially announced that Michigan Defensive Coordinator Mike MacDonald would be their new DC. After coming from Baltimore a year ago, MacDonald helped turn around a defense that ranked 95th in 2020 to 8th in 2021. Jim Harbaugh is again looking for someone new for the Michigan Defensive Coordinator position in the second straight year.

Michigan is one of the more lucrative destinations in College Football and should see no shortage of candidates at DC. We now take a look at those candidates below:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers ILB coach – Larry Foote

The former Michigan star has been with Tampa Bay since 2019 and done well at that post. When Al Washington left Michigan for Ohio State three years ago, Foote told Sam Webb of TheMichiganInsider.com “when I come back to Ann Arbor it will be as head coach or defensive coordinator.” Now that position is open for someone like Foote to come back to Ann Arbor and stay for awhile. Foote would give Michigan another young coach who could be a very fierce recruiter, while also being a great coach.

Georgia Co-Defensive Coordinator & ILB coach – Glenn Schumann

Michigan faced Georgia in the Orange Bowl and got walloped 34-11. Glenn Schumann was a very big part of that as he coaches the ILB’s and helps in defensive game planning. There are no doubts about his ability to develop top tier talent: Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall, Quay Walker, and Monty Rice just to name a few. His recruiting prowess is outstanding as his all-time commit list consists of many 5-star and high 4-star players. This is another candidate who is young and seems to connect really well with others.

Kentucky Defensive Coordinator & OLB Coach – Brad White

Current Michigan Co-DC and DB coach Steve Clinkscale worked with White at Kentucky so there is familiarity here. White has consistently coached really good defenses while being in the SEC and has been a decent recruiter. If Michigan wants to go with a more sure bet at DC, White is likely the best pathway. The ranks for Kentucky on defense under White goes as followed:

  • 14th in 2019
  • 45th in 2020
  • 26th in 2021

Detroit Lions Pass-Game Coordinator & DB coach – Aubrey Pleasant

Pleasant was born in Flint and coached at Michigan from 2011-2012. He also comes from the Wade Phillips coaching tree and would continue the 3-4 look that MacDonald implemented last year. Although he doesn’t have play-calling experience, he still possesses a lot of qualifications for a job like this one. He coached at Michigan, is from Flint, and has a history of developing great players at the highest level. Pleasant would be interesting due to the Wolverines already having a great DB coach in Clinkscale. Could this be a “too many cooks in the kitchen” situation? Maybe.

Ravens Run-Game Coordinator & DL Coach – Anthony Weaver

Weaver is a rising star in Football and after being passed up for DC in Baltimore, he may be interested in taking a DC job elsewhere if one arises. He has experience as a DC under Bill O’Brien and Romeo Crennel in 2020 with the Texans. This is a young, vibrant coach who has had glowing remarks from those around the league and would likely do a great job as a recruiter and teaching young guys and developing their game. With Mike Elston as the DL coach for Michigan, Weaver would likely come in and coach the EDGE players.

Other candidates were thought of such as Elijah Robinson from Texas A&M and Tem Lukabu from Boston College, but that would require a scheme change for a team ready to win now. Over the years, Harbaugh has done an outstanding job hiring assistants and that won’t likely stop now. MacDonald came out of nowhere last year for Michigan and it wouldn’t be a shock if something similar were to happen again.

Check out more on Around The Block as more news is yet to come for Michigan this offseason.

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