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Michigan football defensive coordinator ranked among top-2 nationally

Jesse Minter, the second-year Michigan football defensive coordinator, was recently ranked among the top-2 defensive coordinators in the nation.



Michigan football defensive coordinator

This fall, the Michigan Wolverines’ defensive unit will need to be as strong as it has ever been if Jim Harbaugh and company want to win a third-straight Big Ten title and more. Jesse Minter, who is heading into his second season as the Michigan football defensive coordinator, did an incredible job with his defense last fall and will need to do more of the same in year two.

Yesterday, PFF released their top 10 defensive coordinators ahead of the 2023 season, and Minter made the cut. In fact, Jesse Minter was ranked among the top two defensive coordinators in the nation.

Michigan football defensive coordinator Jesse Minter ranked as the No. 2 DC in college football

In 2021, the stellar Michigan football defense was led by none other than Mike McDonald, whom Jim Harbaugh picked up from his brother’s team in the NFL (Ravens). McDonald turned the defense around in just one season, even shutting down Ohio State en route to the team’s first win over the Buckeyes in a decade. Following the 2021 season, McDonald made a return to the NFL, prompting a new coaching search for the Wolverines.

Jesse Minter was quickly picked up by Jim Harbaugh, despite his short resume of coaching experience in DII football and at Vanderbilt. Though many were unsure of what to expect from Minter in his first year, the new Michigan football defensive coordinator turned heads nationally as he led one of the top-ranked defensive units in the nation during Michigan’s incredible 2022 season. As good as Michigan’s defense was in 2021, it appeared to take another step in the right direction last fall. Minter’s first Michigan Wolverine defense finished in the top-7 nationally in total defense and scoring defense; it was a significant factor in the Wolverines’ second-straight Big Ten title, College Football Playoff berth, and more.

Despite being ranked as the No. 2 defensive coordinator in the nation, Minter is still not ranked as the best in the Big Ten — that title belongs to Phil Parker of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Anyone who can carry an offense as bad as Iowa’s to eight wins deserves that title, so you’ll hear no complaints from me on that front.

Below Minter on the list are a few other Big Ten defensive coordinators, including Jim Knowles (Ohio State), Manny Diaz (Penn State), and Joe Rossi (Minnesota) – all solid choices, though according to these new rankings, Minter has an edge over all of them.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.