DeBord graduated from Wes-Del High School in Delaware County, Indiana. He started for four years on the offensive line at Manchester College, receiving all-conference, all-district and honorable mention NAIA All-America honors during the 1977 season when he was captain. DeBord would later earn a master's degree from Ball State in 1981. He was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
In 1982, DeBord embarked on a coaching career that included stops at Franklin College, Fort Hays State University, Eastern Illinois University, Ball State University, Colorado State University and Northwestern University before joining the Michigan staff under head coach Gary Moeller. At Michigan, he served as offensive line coach from 1992 to 1996. In 1997, he was promoted to offensive coordinator. During DeBord's first year as offensive coordinator in 1997, Michigan won their first national championship since 1948. As the offensive coordinator at Michigan, DeBord posted a 52–11 regular season record and a post season record of 4–1.
DeBord was hired as the head football coach at Central Michigan by athletic director Herb Deromedi in 2000. He would go on to post a 12–34 record, resigning after the 2003 season. DeBord never won more than four games in a season in his time at Central Michigan.
DeBord rejoined the Wolverines in 2004 as special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator, taking over the role filled by the retiring Bobby Morrison. DeBord served in that capacity for two seasons before succeeding Terry Malone as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach in 2006. Malone had previously replaced DeBord when DeBord took the head coaching job at Central Michigan in 2000.
DeBord was a candidate for the head coaching position at Michigan following the retirement of Lloyd Carr in 2007. The job ultimately went to Rich Rodriguez, who jettisoned all Michigan assistant coaches except running backs coach Fred Jackson.
On March 5, 2008, the Seattle Seahawks announced that DeBord had been hired as the assistant offensive line coach. DeBord was promoted to tight end coach for the 2009 season.
On February 2, 2010, the Chicago Bears announced DeBord as their new tight ends coach, after coming to terms for the 2010 season. DeBord was dismissed by new head coach Marc Trestman on January 17, 2013.
On February 1, 2013, DeBord was hired by Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon to be the sports administrator for the school's Olympic sports teams. In this role he works with the field hockey, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's track and field, and men's and women's tennis programs.
On February 5, 2015, DeBord was hired by Tennessee head coach Butch Jones as offensive coordinator, replacing Mike Bajakian, who left to become quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones had previously worked under DeBord as an assistant coach at Central Michigan. On January 3, 2017, it was announced that DeBord would be leaving Tennessee to become the offensive coordinator for Indiana.
Assistant coaches under Mike DeBord who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:Butch Jones: Central Michigan (2007–2009), Cincinnati (2010–2012), Tennessee (2013–present)
Curt Mallory: Indiana State (2017–present)