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Here are the details of Michigan football defensive coordinator Jesse Minter's contract

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

New Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter has signed a three-year deal worth $2.75 million in base pay.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh hired Minter, 38, earlier this month from Vanderbilt where he spent the last season as defensive coordinator. Before that, he worked for the Baltimore Ravens. Minter replaces Mike Macdonald who left Michigan after one season to return to the Baltimore Ravens where he had spent the seven previous seasons and where he and Minter had worked together.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh talks to his players before the team ran onto the field for Saturday's season opener against Western Michigan at Michigan Stadium.

Minter will make $900,000 this year, and his base salary will increase by $25,000 each of the final two years of his contract, according to a memorandum of understanding signed Feb. 8 and obtained Frday by The Detroit News through an open-records request. Macdonald made $1 million last year as Michigan defensive coordinator.

There are incentives included in Minter’s deal. If the defense finishes in the Big Ten’s Top 2 in scoring defense, he will receive $100,000, and if it is among the Top 10 nationally in FBS scoring defense, he will receive $100,000. There also is a bonus if the team wins nine or more regular-season games, and he could earn a maximum $200,000.

As far as a buyout, if Minter leaves during Year 1 or Year 2 of the control, he must pay Michigan $900,000 and in Year 3 it drops to $450,000 — unless it's another position in the Big Ten, in which case it'll remain $900,000. He would owe nothing if he left Michigan for a Division I or NFL head coaching job.

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Harbaugh, during the “In the Trenches” podcast with Jon Jansen on Thursday, said he likes the continuity in defensive scheme Minter brings following Macdonald. Macdonald, with key pieces in pass rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, and the defensed helped lead Michigan to a 12-2 record last season.

Michigan finished ranked 20th nationally (330.8 yards) and No. 8 in scoring defense (17.4 points) during the 2021 season that featured a Big Ten championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff national semifinal where the Wolverines lost to eventual national champions Georgia.

Minter spent four seasons on the Ravens staff working for John Harbaugh as a defensive assistant for three years and defensive backs coach in 2020. Jim Harbaugh shared on the podcast how Macdonald and Minter were presented to him as strong options before the 2021 season to take over as defensive coordinator.

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“This goes back to when I was hiring Mike Macdonald, filling that defensive coordinator’s spot a year, my brother John said, ‘Mike Macdonald, linebacker coach, Jesse Minter, assistant secondary coach, they’re both great. If I was you I’d pick one,’” Harbaugh said on the podcast. “I looked at both, looked at Mike, and that was the direction I ended up going.

“Jesse went from the Ravens to Vanderbilt. It worked the time before, figured it would work this time. I talked to a lot of great guys along the way. (Former Michigan linebacker now NFL assistant) Larry Foote, made a run at Larry, and some other guys, but really happy we have Jesse. What it does do is there’s a real continuity that’s taking place. Same system, they both came out of Baltimore, knowing the same system, running the same system. It’s been a seamless fit so far.”