Nick Sorensen is in his first season as the 49ers defensive assistant coach. He joined the 49ers after spending the 2021 season as the special teams coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars special teams unit in 2021 saw the kickoff return team average 22.2 yards per return and one return for a touchdown. Jacksonville was one of eight teams to register a kickoff return for a touchdown in 2021. WR Jamal Agnew returned 22 kickoffs for 525 yards (23.9 average), including a return of 102 yards for a touchdown. He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for the month of September.
Prior to his time in Jacksonville, Sorensen spent eight years with the Seattle Seahawks as a special teams assistant (2013-16), secondary coach (2017-19) and secondary coach/nickel specialist (2020). In 2020, CB Shaquill Griffin earned his first career selection to the Pro Bowl after leading the team with 12 passes defensed to go along with three interceptions. The 2019 Seahawks finished tied for fifth in the NFL with 16 interceptions on the season. The year prior, S Bradley McDougald and S Earl Thomas each registered three interceptions. In 2017, Seattle held their opponents to an average of 209.2 passing yards per game, ranking second in the NFC and sixth in the NFL.
WR/KR Tyler Lockett was named AP Second-Team All-Pro in 2016 and K Steven Hauschka left Seattle as its all-time leader in field goals made (175) and the third-highest field goal percentage in NFL history (87.2). In 2015, Sorensen helped coach Lockett to AP First-Team All-Pro honors as a rookie return specialist. Lockett became the second player in NFL history (Hall of Famer Gale Sayers) to return a punt and kickoff for touchdowns and have five receiving touchdowns in the same season. Lockett returned a kickoff 105 yards for a franchise-record and his 1,915 combined yards are the fourth-most in a season in franchise history. Hauschka recorded his fifth-straight season with 100-or-more points scored and was second in the NFL with a made field goal percentage of 93.5, which included a streak of 19-consecutive made field goals (third-longest in franchise history).
In 2014, Sorensen saw Hauschka tie the franchise record after connecting on a 58-yard field goal at Carolina. P Jon Ryan was named the Special Teams Player of the Month for September after averaging 48.3 yards per punt with a 43.3 net average and downing seven of his 12 punts inside the 20.
During Seattle's Super Bowl XLVIII championship season in 2013, Seattle's special teams was led by its reliable kicking game. Hauschka converted on 33 of 35 field goals for a Seahawks single-season record 94.3 made field goal percentage. His 143 kicker points also were the most in Seattle history. He converted 22-consecutive field goals, the second-longest streak in franchise history. Seattle's punt coverage unit allowed only 25 yards through the first 15 games. In Super Bowl XLVIII, WR Percy Harvin returned and took the second-half opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown.
Sorensen began his coaching career in 2012 as a defensive quality control coach at Youngstown State University after playing safety in the NFL for 10 seasons with the St. Louis Rams (2001-02), Jaguars (2003-06) and Cleveland Browns (2007-10) and registered 133 special teams tackles. He played in Super Bowl XXXVI as a member of the Rams.
A native of Winter Haven, FL, Sorensen attended Virginia Tech for four years (1997-2000), beginning his career at quarterback and later transitioning to safety and linebacker during his junior and senior seasons. He was a part of the Virginia Tech team that went to the National Championship game in 1999. In his final two seasons with the Hokies, he recorded 117 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and one interception. Sorensen and his wife, Danielle, have two sons, Nash and Stone.