Report: Trotwood native set to join Michigan football coaching staff

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Michigan football is preparing to add long-time NFL assistant Don “Wink” Martindale to its coaching staff according to a report Friday morning.

ESPN reports a deal for Martindale to become the defensive coordinator for the Wolverines is still being worked out between the Trotwood-Madison grad and the school, “but it is not expected to be an issue.”

Martindale, 60, is a 30-plus year coaching veteran who has been in the NFL since 2004.

He was the New York Giants defensive coordinator the past two seasons after holding the same position with the Baltimore Ravens for four seasons before that.

One of the players Martindale figures to build his defense around is another northwest Montgomery County native: Senior safety Rod Moore, a Northmont grad heading into his fourth season as a starter for the Wolverines.

Hiring Martindale, who was an all-state linebacker for the Rams before playing at Defiance College, would likely mean some carryover of the defensive system Michigan has been running since the Wolverines brought Mike MacDonald over from the Ravens in 2021.

Martindale began his coaching career at Defiance before spending two years at Notre Dame under Lou Holtz then three seasons at Cincinnati. He was defensive coordinator at Western Illinois for a season before spending four years at Western Kentucky.

He went to the NFL as a linebackers coach for the Oakland Raiders in 2004 and subsequently also worked for the Denver Broncos before joining John Harbaugh’s Ravens staff in 2012.

Michigan has experienced a mass exodus since the Wolverines won the College Football National Championship Game on Jan. 8.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh left to become head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers and subsequently added defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and defensive line coach Mike Elston to his new staff.

Michigan also lost highly regarded strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert to the Chargers while safeties and special teams coach Jay Harbaugh (Jim’s son) is expected to leave for the Seattle Seahawks and the Ravens are reportedly hiring Doug Mallory, a defensive analyst.

That all came after offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore was promoted to replace Harbaugh in hopes of carrying over the winning formula Michigan used to go 30-3 over the past three seasons.

The Wolverines will also have holes to fill on the field following the departures of quarterback J.J. McCarthy, star running back Blake Corum, top receiver Roman Wilson and most of the offensive line, though Moore is among a handful of standouts returning on defense.

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