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5 coaches with Utah ties who are one win away from Super Bowl LVII

BYU, Utah and Utah State are all represented among the coaching ranks in this year’s NFL conference championships

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Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talks to the media before an NFL football workout Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid talks to the media before an NFL football workout Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs are scheduled to play the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday in the AFC championship game.

Charlie Riedel, Associated Press

There are 10 players with Utah ties who are one victory this weekend away from advancing to Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix.

There are also five coaches who’ve played, attended or coached at Utah schools who are also on the staffs of the four teams playing in Sunday’s NFL conference championship games — the Philadelphia Eagles host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship, while the Kansas City Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship.

Here is a look at each five of these coaches, beginning in the AFC.

Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs head coach

Utah tie: Played at BYU, graduate assistant at the school.

Reid is easily the most well-known Utah tie in NFL coaching circles. He won his first Super Bowl with the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV and has taken three previous teams to the Super Bowl — with a 1-2 record. 

Reid, who’s in his 10th season as Kansas City’s head coach, has a 247-138 overall record as an NFL coach with the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City’s divisional round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was his 20th victory as a head coach in the playoffs.

This is the eighth straight year Reid has led the Chiefs to the postseason, and fifth straight they have made it to the AFC championship game.

Porter Ellett, Kansas City Chiefs offensive quality control coach

Utah tie: Attended BYU.

Ellett, a native of Loa, Utah, graduated from BYU and was an equipment room attendant for the Cougars’ football team. 

He’s now in his third season as the Chiefs’ offensive quality control coach, after serving for three years as the senior assistant to the head coach for Reid.


Kansas City Chiefs defensive quality control coach Alex Whittingham speaks with a reporter during Super Bowl 54 media availability Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in Aventura, Fla.

Brandon Judd, Deseret News

Alex Whittingham, Kansas City Chiefs defensive quality control coach

Utah tie: Played at Utah.

Whittingham, the son of Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham who prepped at Brighton High, played linebacker for his father before joining the coaching ranks under Reid.

The younger Whittingham is in his fifth season as a Chiefs assistant and fourth as the franchise’s defensive quality control coach.

Brad Kragthorpe, Cincinnati Bengals assistant wide receivers coach

Utah tie: Graduate assistant at Utah State.

Kragthorpe spent two years on Utah State’s coaching staff as an offensive graduate assistant in 2016-17, working with the wide receivers.

His grandfather, Dave Kragthorpe, played football at Utah State, was a longtime college coach — that included a stint as an assistant coach at BYU — and served as Utah State’s athletic director for three years in the mid-1980s. His father, Steven Kragthorpe, was also a longtime college coach.

Brian Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach

Utah tie: Played at Utah.

Johnson was the quarterback for the Utes’ Sugar Bowl winning team in 2008, leading the program to a 13-0 season that ended with a No. 2 national ranking. He was a three-year starter for Utah and the winningest quarterback in program history (with a 26-7 record) while throwing for 7,838 yards, 57 touchdowns and 27 interceptions in his career, while also rushing for 848 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Since his playing days, Johnson has served as an assistant coach on Utah’s staff (from 2010-13) — he became an offensive coordinator at the age of 24 — and at Mississippi State, Houston and Florida before joining the Eagles’ staff in his current position two years ago. 

The 35-year-old reportedly spoke with the New York Jets recently about their open offensive coordinator position, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, a job that went to former Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett.