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Seahawks Announce Seven Additions To 2024 Coaching Staff

The Seahawks announced several additions to Mike Macdonald’s coaching staff, including assistant head coach Leslie Frazier and coordinators Ryan Grubb, Aden Durde and Jay Harbaugh.


Moments after arriving at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center to a warm welcome from team employees, Mike Macdonald got to work on one of the most important first duties of his new job as the head coach of the Seahawks, building a coaching staff.

"We have been working on our staff the whole time," Macdonald said on Seattle Sports 710AM. "We came over to the facility for the first time to introduce us before the press conference, and met everybody briefly, but then we were on the board working on staff immediately. It's a long process, but it's a great process trying to find the right guys to come in here to coach our team."

That process has resulted in Macdonald and president of football operations/general manager John Schneider making several key hires that are now official, with more still to come:

  • Aden Durde (defensive coordinator)
  • Ryan Grubb (offensive coordinator)
  • Jay Harbaugh (special teams coordinator)
  • Leslie Frazier (assistant head coach)
  • Karl Scott (defensive passing game coordinator/defensive backs)
  • Scott Huff (offensive line)
  • Kirk Olivadotti (inside linebackers)

Scott is the only holdover from Pete Carroll's coaching staff on that list, having joined the Seahawks coaching staff in 2022 after previously spending time with the Minnesota Vikings, the University of Alabama and several other college teams.

Grubb won't have to travel far for his first NFL coaching job, having spent the last two years in the Pacific Northwest with the Huskies. Grubb found success in coaching their offense to lead the nation in passing yards and finishing second in total offense per game during the 2022 season. And this past season the team went 14-1 with a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship game. He previously had stops at South Dakota State, Sioux Falls, Eastern Michigan and Fresno State before he landed the job at the University of Washington, and the work he and Kalen DeBoer did together caught Macdonald's eye from across the country.

"He's been on my radar, watching his teams perform, throughout the season, obviously thinking that a situation like this might come about," Macdonald said. "Then getting to know him throughout the process, the type of guy he is, he's been a winner everywhere he's been. I just think it speaks to his football character, things that him and Kalen have over time—everywhere they've gone they've really rebuilt the culture where they've been and they've won immediately. Having that type of growth mindset, being able to adapt to the players that he as, and his scheme, I just respect what his offense looks like."

Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb walks on the field before an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

On the defensive side, Durde, an England native, will partner with Macdonald to build Seattle's defense. And while those two have never worked together, Macdonald came away very impressed after interviewing Durde.

"It speaks to the process, the mentality we had about trying to find the best people with the personality and the mindset and the track record that we're looking for," Macdonald said of hiring Durde. "Aden came in highly recommended, he got on our interview list, and knocked it out of the park when we first sat down. Just listening to him talk about how he sees the game was very similar to how I saw it in terms of what you need to do to be able defend offenses these days. And he had some really interesting perspectives, so we thought, 'Shoot, we've got to get this guy in here in person.' We brought him in, he did a great job, and it just kind of took off from there. So I'm really excited to work with him, and he's coming into town later on today, actually, so we're excited to sit down and start building the staff out."

Durde has spent time between both the NFL and the NFLUK. And most recently was the defensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys for the past three seasons. Before his time with the Cowboys, Durde was a Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching fellow, and spent training camp with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016.After working with the Falcons, Durde served as the head of football development at NFLUK to help international players transition to the NFL.

This won't be Durde's first time as a defensive coordinator, but it will be his first time as one in the NFL. For six seasons he was in London with the London Warriors as their defensive coordinator.

Macdonald said in his introductory press conference that he will handle defensive play-calling duties early on, but could see handing that off eventually: "Right now, the plan is that I'll be calling all the plays. The best way that we can win, in my opinion is for me to call the plays and when it becomes obvious that someone else is ready to go and we see it the same way then we'll make that change."

Durde played linebacker for six years in NFL Europe where he helped the Hamburg Sea Devils win the 2007 NFL Europa World Bowl XV Championship. Durde spent time on both the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons practice squads as well.

Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde watches during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

The addition of Harbaugh creates a reunion for him and Macdonald, a pair of coaches who worked together both in Baltimore under the leadership of Jay's uncle, John Harbaugh, and at Michigan under Jay's father, Jim.

Harbaugh spent the past three seasons working on his dad's coaching staff at Michigan, serving as special teams coordinator for the past five seasons, also coaching running backs, tight ends and safeties during that time. He began his coaching career as an undergraduate assistant at Oregon State before working for Jim Harbaugh's Ravens as an offensive quality control coach from 2012-2014, the last year being Macdonald's first with the Ravens. Macdonald and Jay Harbaugh would go on to work together at Michigan in 2021, and given how Macdonald spoke about Jim and John Harbaugh last week, it's no surprised he would want to tap into that family tree when building a coaching staff.

"Those guys are some of the most authentic, competitive people I've ever been around, and the players know when it's real, and they love their players, and they have their players' backs, and they're willing to do whatever it takes, put them in position to succeed," Macdonald said in his introductory press conference. "Sometimes it's tough love, but it's telling them the truth, being respectful. They go about it two completely different ways, but they end up in the same spot."

Michigan Running Backs coach Jay Harbaugh watches during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

In Frazier, Macdonald is adding a veteran NFL coach who will be a valuable resource to a first-time head coach.

Frazier, who spent three seasons as the head coach of the Vikings, brings more than two decades of NFL coaching experience under his belt, and should prove to be a valuable resource to a first-time head coach like Macdonald, with whom he worked for one season in Baltimore in 2016.

"I worked with Leslie back in Baltimore in 2016, so I've had a relationship with Les for a long time, and obviously he's got an incredible track record in the NFL, being a head coach, high-powered defenses, being on the Bears '85 team. There' so much wealth of knowledge. I have so much respect for him, both in what he knows football wise, and also just his character. He's going to be a massive resource for us, and me personally navigating it being a first-time head coach. He's been through the wars, he can see around the corners, and he's been a great help so far. We're working this thing as a great partnership between him and I. I just really respect Les and I'm just really happy he decided to join us."

Frazier's resume includes a lot more than just experience, however, he has also had a ton of success leading some of the league's top defenses throughout his career. Most recently, Frazier spent six seasons as Buffalo's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 2017-2022, adding the title of assistant head coach in 2020, and over the course of those six seasons, the Bills allowed the fewest yards in the league (315 per game), passing yards (202) and passing touchdowns (107), and they ranked  second in takeaways (158) and third in points allowed (20 points per game). Over his final two seasons in Buffalo, Frazier's defenses allowed just 17.4 points per game and 4.8 yards per play, both of which were the lowest in the NFL.

"The guy is the true definition of integrity, just resilient," then-Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds told in 2022. "I really respect him a lot, just as far as his approach to the game, his knowledge, his leadership skills. A lot of guys respect him. He's just been our leader."

FILE - Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier walks on the field before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, on Oct. 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Frazier is credited for providing the Bills a calm and reassuring voice even at the the most troubling times. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

Frazier, 64, played five seasons for the Chicago Bears and was a starting cornerback on the Bears' Super Bowl-winning 1985 team, leading the team with six interceptions. His career was cut short, however, by a knee injury suffered in the Super Bowl that season. He then began his coaching career as the head coach at Trinity International University, moved to the University of Illinois in 1997, then began his long NFL coaching career as the defensive backs coach for the Eagles in 1999.

A member of the Black College Football Hall of Fame—he played at Alcorn State, an HBCU in Mississippi—Frazier got his first job as a defensive coordinator in 2003 with the Bengals, then as the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach of the Colts, he would earn his second Super Bowl ring, and first as a coach, in Indianapolis' Super Bowl XLI win over his former team, the Bears. Frazier then went on to become the Vikings' defensive coordinator in 2007, eventually taking over as interim head coach in 2010 before becoming their head coach from 2011-2013, earning a playoff berth in 2012 with a 10-6 record.

"I think you should want a coach that is going to get the most out of his players, both physically and emotionally and that can also connect with his players both physically and emotionally," Bills linebacker Von Miller told the team's website in 2022. "Coach Frazier does that. There is no magic card, there is no magic defensive scheme. The magic comes from the coach being able to get the most out of his players, getting everybody on that defense or on that team to be laser focused for 60 minutes on Sunday. That's Coach Frazier."

Olivadotti, who spent the past five seasons as the inside linebackers coach for the Packers, has also coached linebackers for the Washington Commanders as well as the University of Georgia from 2011-2013, where he worked with Macdonald, who was just starting out as a defensive quality control coach.

Photo courtesy of Evan Siegle, Green Bay Packers

Huff will join Grubb in moving from the University of Washington across Lake Washington to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center after spending seven seasons with the Huskies as the offensive line coach. This past season, Huff helped the offense to lead the nation in third-down conversions, and the Huskies line won the Joe Moore Award, which is given to the nation's top offensive line. One indicator of Huff's coaching abilities, as well as his ability to thrive in different offensive schemes and under different type of leadership, is the fact that he was retained by two different head coaches at Washington, having originally been hired by Chris Petersen before being retained by both Jimmy Lake and DeBoer, the only assistant to be kept on staff through both of those coaching changes. Before Washington, Huff was the offensive line coach at Boise State, serving as tight ends and special teams coordinator as well over his 10 years with the Broncos.

With the hiring of Mike Macdonald as the next head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, take a look back at his career. Macdonald spent nine of the past ten seasons on the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff serving as a defensive assistant.

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