Indian American Sean Desai has been named the next defensive coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles, the team announced Tuesday.
Desai, 39, was a high school teammate of Dan Orlovsky, and played defensive back for the Shelton High School team that went undefeated and won the Class LL championship in 2000.
He will replace Jonathan Gannon, who was hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals two days after the Eagles’ 38-35 loss in Super Bowl LVII, according to an Eagles press release.
“His overall knowledge of football and football IQ are extremely high,” Head Coach Nick Sirianni said. “Great detail. He’s a really sharp coach. I’m excited that he’s on our staff.”
READ: Chicago Bears promote Indian American Sean Desai as defensive coordinator (January 25, 2021)
Desai served as the Seattle Seahawks’ associate head coach-defense in 2022. The Seahawks reached the playoffs as a Wild Card despite finishing second in the league in both snaps and games started by rookies.
While the addition of Desai presents a mystery for opposing offenses to prepare for this upcoming season, Sirianni said he liked some of the similarities to what the team has done that have been successful.
2023 will be Desai’s 11th season as a coach in the NFL. He started his coaching career at Temple (2007-10), where he was a graduate assistant for the defense and special teams while earning his doctorate in educational administration.
He entered the NFL ranks in 2013 as the quality control coach-defense for the Bears, working with the defensive backs/linebackers/special teams.
Desai was named Bears’ safeties coach in 2019 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2021 becoming the first Indian American coordinator in NFL history. The Bears ranked sixth in total defense and third in passing defense that season.
In Chicago, Desai coached under noted defensive minds, including Vic Fangio, John Fox, Mel Tucker, and Chuck Pagano. Desai was a part of three different coaching staffs with the Bears.
Before joining the Bears, Desai was the running backs coach/special teams coordinator at Boston College. In the 2012 season, Desai also coached Boston College running back Andre Williams, who went on to win the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back a year later.
Before his time at Boston College, Desai was the assistant director of football operations at the University of Miami in 2011 after spending five seasons at Temple.
Desai also served as an adjunct professor at Temple in 2009 and 2010, teaching in the master’s and doctoral programs in education administration.
He earned the nickname “Doc,” because of his doctorate in educational administration, with an emphasis on higher education. In 2011, Desai joined the University of Miami as the assistant director of football operations.
Desai received his undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science, with a minor in biology, from Boston University in 2004. Desai earned a master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education from Columbia University in 2005.