A 21-year coaching veteran, D.K. McDonald was promoted to defensive backs coach by the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2023 offseason. He first joined the team as the assistant defensive backs coach in 2021.
During the 2022 campaign, when Philadelphia went 14-3 and advanced to Super Bowl LVII, McDonald helped prepare the second-ranked total defense (301.5 ypg) in the NFL. The Eagles led the league in passing yards allowed per game (179.8) and finished third in opponent passer rating (81.6), fourth in interceptions (17) and fifth in passes defensed (81) as well. Furthermore, McDonald assisted the only cornerback duo in the league to produce at least 14 passes defensed and three interceptions each in 2022, as James Bradberry earned Associated Press All-Pro honors and Darius Slay was selected to the Pro Bowl. Safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson also tied for the most interceptions (six) in the NFL, despite missing five games.
In his first season in Philadelphia, McDonald aided a defense that allowed the fifth-fewest explosive plays (117) and eighth-fewest passing yards per attempt (6.8) in the NFL. Slay paced the Eagles with nine pass breakups, five takeaways, including three interceptions, and a league-leading three defensive touchdowns en route to Pro Bowl accolades.
Prior to joining Philadelphia's staff, McDonald spent five seasons at Iowa State, where he served as the pass game coordinator working with the Cyclones' safeties (2019-20) and cornerbacks (2016-18). He played an essential role in Iowa State's improvement, as the team made four straight bowl games and annually appeared in the national rankings.
In 2020, McDonald helped Iowa State rank second in the Big 12 in scoring defense (21.4 ppg) and total defense (340.4 ypg). In addition, he guided three safeties – Greg Eisworth, Lawrence White and Isheem Young – to All-Big 12 accolades. Eisworth became the first player in program history to receive first-team all-conference honors three times and Young was selected Big 12 Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year.
As the Cyclones' cornerbacks coach, McDonald coached three players to a combined five All-Big 12 honors. One of his success stories was Brian Peavy, who earned first-team All-America recognition and was lauded as an all-conference performer for the fourth straight year in 2018.