Wink Martindale Leaving NFL for College Coaching Gig

Wink Martindale is leaving the NFL and heading back to the college football world.
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator Don  Wink
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants defensive coordinator Don Wink / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Wink Martindale has been looking for a new job since "mutually parting ways" with the New York Giants after his blowup with Brian Daboll, and apparently he couldn't find one he wanted at the NFL level.

So now Martindale will take his talents to the college coaching ranks.

Michigan is set to hire the former Giants DC as its defensive coordinator. Martindale will be replacing Jesse Minter who left the Wolverines to join Jim Harbaugh's staff with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Martindale was recently with the New York Giants before things turned for the worse. Martindale was reportedly frustrated with head coach Brian Daboll after multiple defensive assistants were let go at the conclusion of the 2023 campaign.

Before he coached the Giants, Martindale was with the Baltimore Ravens for 10 seasons. He spent six seasons as the team's linebacker coach before spending four seasons as the defensive coordinator.

The Ohio native heads back to the college ranks for the first time in over 20 years. Martindale was an assistant coach for Notre Dame from 1994-1995 before heading to the University of Cincinnati from 1996-1998. He then had two stints at Western Illinois and Western Kentucky before heading to the NFL in 2004 as the Oakland Raiders linebackers coach.

Martindale is now tasked with keeping the Wolverines' defense at an elite level. In 2023, Michigan had one of the best defenses in the nation. They ranked first in the country in both total defense (247) and scoring defense (10.4) but second in passing yards allowed (157).

Maryland, Ohio State, and Alabama were the only three teams in 2023 to score at least 20 points against Michigan. No one scored more than 24.

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