Carlos Polk enters his second year as an assistant special teams coach for the Bears in 2023.
Polk has 13 years of coaching experience, including 12 in the National Football League. He came to Chicago at the start of the 2022 season after spending one year within the Jacksonville Jaguars organization, where he also served as the club's assistant special teams coach for one season in 2021.
During the 2022 season, Polk and special teams coordinator Richard Hightower led a special teams unit that was highlighted by their 26.2 kickoff return average on the season, which led all NFC teams and ranked second overall in the NFL to Indianapolis' 27.8 average. The 26.2 kickoff return average is the Bears' third highest-return average since the start of the 2000 season.
Polk and Hightower also assisted in kicker Cairo Santos' success, as he finished the 2022 season as the most accurate kicker in Bears history (min. 80 attempts), connecting on 78-of-87 attempts in a Bears uniform (89.7%).
In addition to his time in Jacksonville, Polk has additional coaching experience with the Dallas Cowboys (2013 and 2019), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-18) and San Diego Chargers (2010-12). His coaching career began in 2009, when he served as the special teams coordinator for Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif.
Prior to his time spent coaching, Polk enjoyed an eight-year career as a player in the NFL. He was originally selected in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, where he spent six seasons (2001-07). He finished the 2008 season with the Dallas Cowboys, where he retired at the end of the year. In total, Polk appeared in 74 career regular-season games with six starts, racking up 49 total tackles.
He attended the University of Nebraska and was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2010. Polk was a two-time All-Big 12 selection with the Cornhuskers and an All-American in 2000. He finished his career with 227 total tackles, ranking 17th in program history.
Polk attended Guilford High School in Rockford, Ill., where he was one of the all-time leading tacklers in Illinois high school history. In four years, he recorded 453 career tackles, 10 fumble recoveries, seven blocked kicks and five interceptions. He received All-Conference honors three times and All-State honors once.
He and his wife, Monique, have two sons, DeVonn, and C.J., and two daughters, Deja, and Miracle.