Who Is Nick Sorensen? 49ers Promote Internally for Defensive Coordinator Position

After firing Steve Wilks in shocking fashion post-Super Bowl, the 49ers are promoting Nick Sorensen from within at defensive coordinator. Who is the new DC?

After their Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Francisco 49ers fired defensive coordinator Steve Wilks in shocking fashion on February 15. Ever since, they’ve been on the search to find a new DC.

Now, they’ve officially made a hire. Head coach Kyle Shanahan promoted Nick Sorensen from within to be the team’s new defensive leader. Who is Sorensen?

Who Is New 49ers Defensive Coordinator Nick Sorensen?

Sorensen was born July 31, 1978, in Winter Haven, FL. He is almost 10 years younger than Wilks, bringing some youth to the 49ers defense. Sorensen grew up in Vienna, Virginia, and attended George C. Marshall High School.

He played football, basketball, and baseball in high school, throwing for 1,925 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushing for 604 yards and 10 touchdowns in his football career. He was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

After his high school career, he spent his college career at Virginia Tech. Sorensen started as a quarterback before transitioning to safety and linebacker over his final two seasons. He posted 117 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks and one interception. As a quarterback, he completed 42 of 80 passes for 447 yards, four touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

Ultimately, Sorensen went undrafted in the 2001 NFL Draft, signing with the Miami Dolphins, where he didn’t make the active roster. He was then picked up by the St. Louis Rams, where he spent two seasons. He spent eight more seasons in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2003-2006) and Cleveland Browns (2007-2010).

Sorensen finished his career playing in 131 games, starting none of them. He had 131 tackles, three tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He suffered a neck injury ahead of the 2010 season and was not signed by any team following that same season, essentially retiring him.

Before starting his coaching career, Sorensen dove into the broadcasting realm. He worked as an analyst for WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland (NBC) on the ‘Browns Tonight’ post-game show.

His coaching career started with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was a coach from 2013 until 2020. He started as an assistant special teams coach, moving up to secondary coach from 2017-2020. He then spent one season in Jacksonville again as the team’s special teams coordinator under Urban Meyer.

KEEP READING: San Francisco 49ers Depth Chart

During his time with the Seahawks, Sorensen was a part of the 2014 team that won Super Bowl XLVIII, defeating the Denver Broncos.

After a one-year stint with the Jaguars, Sorensen was picked up as a defensive assistant with the 49ers in 2022. He was promoted to defensive pass game coordinator and nickels coach in 2023. Now, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Sorensen has secured his first defensive coordinator job in San Francisco.

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