Veteran NFL assistant Wink Martindale to become Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator

For the past several years, as it captured Big Ten championships, made the College Football Playoff and, eventually, won its first national championship in 26 years, Michigan football’s success was predicated at least in part on its defense.

The Wolverines boasted a top-10 scoring defense in each of the past three seasons, a stretch in which they went 40-3. This past season, on their way to a national title, they were the No. 1 scoring defense in the FBS, allowing just 10.4 points per game.

For that unit to continue to excel, it will need to adjust to not only the loss of key personnel, but coaching departures.

With coach Jim Harbaugh off to the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and with defensive coordinator Jesse Minter following him there, Michigan and new head coach Sherrone Moore have reportedly turned to Wink Martindale to be the team’s next defensive coordinator.

If Martindale’s name sounds familiar — beyond the fact he shares it with another famous figure — it should.

The 60-year-old Martindale has been an NFL defensive coordinator for each of the past six seasons, for the Baltimore Ravens from 2018-21 and the New York Giants from 2022-23.

Now, he’ll be one of the most integral figures in trying to ensure that Michigan football can maintain the significant gains it made over the final three years of Harbaugh’s tenure and remain a consistent national championship threat in a changing college football landscape.

Before he begins that work with the Wolverines, here’s everything you need to know about Martindale:

Wink Martindale coaching career

Martindale has been a coach in some form since 1986, when he got his start as the defensive coordinator at his alma mater, Defiance College, a small private school in northwest Ohio about 35 miles south of the Michigan border. That stint came after he worked for a year…


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Author : USA TODAY Sports

Publish date : 2024-02-09 21:38:24

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