Defensive Coordinator Don 'Wink' Martindale Parting Ways with Ravens After 10 Seasons

Adam WellsJanuary 21, 2022

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale looks on during pre-game warm-ups before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)
AP Photo/Terrance Williams

Don "Wink" Martindale's tenure with the Baltimore Ravens has come to an end after 10 seasons. 

Head coach John Harbaugh announced Friday the two sides have "agreed to move forward in separate directions" after a series of conversations since the end of the season:

Baltimore Ravens @Ravens

Statement from Head Coach John Harbaugh on Don Martindale. <a href="https://t.co/j0zkpgmX1I">pic.twitter.com/j0zkpgmX1I</a>

Martindale joined the Ravens staff in 2012 as linebackers coach and spent six seasons in that role. 

After Dean Pees announced his retirement from the Ravens following the 2017 season, Martindale was promoted to defensive coordinator. 

Baltimore's defense ranked in the top 10 in Football Outsiders' DVOA in each of Martindale's first three seasons as defensive coordinator. The 2021 squad fell to 28th in part due to a number of injuries to key players. 

Ahead of a Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens had only 15 available defensive players on their 53-man roster. They allowed 575 total yards, including 525 passing yards to Joe Burrow, in a 41-21 loss.

Coming into the 2021 season, Martindale was regarded as one of the best defensive play-callers in the NFL. Eric Eager of Pro Football Focus ranked him No. 2 in that category behind Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley. 

He won a Super Bowl in 2013 when the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. 

Martindale's NFL coaching career began in 2004 as linebackers coach with the Oakland Raiders. He spent five seasons in Oakland before joining Josh McDaniels' staff with the Denver Broncos in the same role in 2009. The Broncos promoted Martindale to defensive coordinator in 2010.

He spent also 12 seasons as an assistant coach at the collegiate level with five different schools.