The Bears have promoted safeties coach Sean Desai to their vacant defensive coordinator position, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed on Friday.
Desai has experienced a rise through the Bears’ organization in recent years, and his work has seen him deemed as the internal favorite to replace Chuck Pagano as the team’s defensive coordinator. He was promoted to safeties coach in 2019 after serving as a quality control assistant coach from 2013 to 2018, working with the team’s defensive backs, linebackers, and special teams units.
Prior to his time with the Bears, Desai served as the running backs and special teams coordinator for Boston College in 2012. He was also the assistant director of football operations for Miami (FL) in 2011 and spent 2006 through 2010 as a coach for Temple, his alma mater from which he earned a doctorate in educational administration.
Former Bears linebacker Sam Acho significantly praised Desai on Monday, under whom he played from 2015 to 2018. Acho called Desai a “smart” and “talented” coach who “is a spitting image of Brandon Staley”, the former Bears outside linebackers coach who was recently hired as the head coach of the Chargers.
Desai’s hire marks the first time the Bears have gone internal with their defensive coordinator hire since Rod Marinelli in 2010, who had spent just one year as the team’s defensive line coach and assistant head coach. The likes of Pagano, Vic Fangio, and Mel Tucker were all hired as external moves outside of their organization.
As Rapoport mentioned in his tweet, Desai becomes the first coordinator of Indian descent in the NFL.