Mike Macdonald didn’t need to give some lengthy explanation when asked what drew him to leave the NFL and join Jim Harbaugh’s staff. In fact, he explained his decision with just two words.

“It’s Michigan,” Macdonald said in response. “That’s a pretty simple answer.”

Macdonald will be entering his first season at Michigan after spending the last seven years in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. He spent those years with John Harbaugh, working as a defensive analyst and defensive backs coach in his first four seasons before being named the linebackers coach in 2018.

“When the opportunity first presented itself, quite frankly, it was not on my radar. So I was a little bit in shock,” Macdonald said. “The more I thought about it, it really was a no-brainer in terms of trying to go after it with all my energy and focus.

“It’s pretty simple. This is the winningest program in college football. Jim Harbaugh is someone who I really respect and am familiar with over the years. Coming from John Harbaugh, as well. So you put those three together, it’s pretty simple.”

This will be Macdonald’s first stop at the college level since leaving Georgia in 2013. He spent four seasons with the Bulldogs, starting as a graduate assistant in 2010 before moving to defensive quality control from 2011-13.

Michigan is looking to bounce back after a 2-4 year in 2020. Spring practice is already underway in Ann Arbor.