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Seattle Seahawks hire first-time head coach Mike Macdonald, who becomes youngest head coach in NFL

<i>Todd Olszewski/Getty Images/File</i><br/>Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald watches his team during the first half of an NFL game on December 31
Todd Olszewski/Getty Images/File
Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald watches his team during the first half of an NFL game on December 31

By Jacob Lev and David Close, CNN

(CNN) — The Seattle Seahawks have hired Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald as the team’s head coach, the NFL team announced Wednesday.

Macdonald, 36, will be the youngest head coach in the league.

Macdonald called his hiring an “honor.”

“We are super excited to be here. Just getting to know John (Schneider, the general manager) 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 (fans),” Macdonald said in a statement released by the team. “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,” he added. The Seahawks were 9-8 this season and missed the playoffs.

He was the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, after joining the team in 2014 as a coaching intern. The team’s defense this season was one of the best in NFL history and the first to lead the league in three categories: sacks (60), takeaways (31) and points allowed (16.5 points per game).

The Ravens fell one game short of the Super Bowl, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 17-10 in the AFC championship game in Baltimore on Sunday.

CNN has reached out to the Seahawks and the Ravens for comment.

Macdonald will be taking over for Pete Carroll, who stepped down from the position earlier this month after leading the Seahawks for the past 14 seasons.

He started his career as an assistant high school coach while still in college at the University of Georgia. He joined the Georgia program as a graduate assistant and worked as defensive quality control assistant through the 2013 season.

After serving in a variety of roles for the Ravens, he left in 2021 to serve as the University of Michigan’s defensive coordinator before returning to Baltimore after one season.

Earlier this week, Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Queen heaped praise on Macdonald as a coach and as a person in a video posted on the team’s website.

“Whoever gets him, … probably is getting, like, the best candidate out there,” Queen said.

“I don’t think anybody does it like him. Nobody cares like him. Nobody will do what he does,” the Ravens’ 2020 first-round draft pick said.

“The guy is all around just the best person I’ve been around, coach-wise, person-wise. He really cares. He truly cares about the players, the people around the organization and the fans.”

The Washington Commanders are now the lone NFL team without a head coach.

Here are other recent coaching changes:

– The Atlanta Falcons have hired defensive coordinator Raheem Morris from the Los Angeles Rams as their top coach.

– The Carolina Panthers have named Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales as their head coach.

– The New England Patriots have parted with Bill Belichick and replaced him with one of his guys, linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. Mayo, 37, was youngest head coach in the NFL before Macdonald.

– The Tennessee Titans have hired Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.

– The Los Angeles Chargers are bringing in University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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