Seahawks to add Jay Harbaugh as special teams coordinator

ANN ARBOR, MI - APRIL 01: Special Teams Coordinator Jay Harbaugh looks on during the first quarter of the Michigan spring football game at Michigan Stadium on April 1, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks are expected to add Jay Harbaugh – the son of Los Angeles Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh - to their coaching staff as special teams coordinator, a source confirmed to FOX 13 Seattle.

The addition was first reported by Albert Breer of The MMQB.

Harbaugh and new Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald have spent two seasons coaching together with the Baltimore Ravens and at the University of Michigan. Harbaugh spent three seasons as an offensive quality control coach with the Ravens under his uncle, John, before leaving to join his father's staff at Michigan in 2015.

Macdonald joined the Ravens staff in 2014 as a coaching intern. Macdonald was then hired by Jim to be defensive coordinator at Michigan in 2021 and spent one season in the role before returning to Baltimore to become the defensive coordinator for John.

Harbaugh has spent the last five years running the special teams units for Michigan. He served in a dual role and also spent time working with running backs, tight ends and safeties as well. 

As a running backs coach, Harbaugh worked closely with Seahawks running back Zach Charbonnet, who played at Michigan before transferring to UCLA. Charbonnet rushed for 726 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2019.

Harbaugh served as an undergraduate assistant for head coach Mike Riley at Oregon State University from 2008-11 as he attended the school. Riley was the head coach of the San Diego Chargers when Jim was the quarterback of the team in 1999-2000.

Harbaugh's entire professional coaching resume has come working under either his father or his uncle. In joining the Seahawks' staff, Harbaugh will get his first chance to set out on his own.

Larry Izzo had been Seattle's special teams coordinator under head coach Pete Carroll. Izzo joined the team in 2018 as an assistant special teams coordinator, and took over the full-time job when Brian Schneider took a leave of absence from the team early in the 2020 season.

Seattle's special teams have ranked in the top six of the league – per Rick Gosselin's rankings – in each of Izzo's four seasons running the unit. Since 2020, the Seahawks have ranked second, third, second and sixth on special teams. Harbaugh will be tasked with keeping the unit performing at a high level under Macdonald.

Harbaugh and assistant head coach Leslie Frazier are the first two additions to Macdonald's staff to become publicly known.