There are 10 players with ties in Utah who are one win this weekend away from advancing to Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix.
There are also five coaches who played in, attended, or coached in Utah schools who also staff the four teams that play Sunday in NFL conference championship games: The Philadelphia Eagles host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game, while the Kansas The City Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC championship.
Here’s a look at each of these five coaches, starting with the AFC.
Andy Reid, head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs
Utah tie: Played at BYU, graduate assistant at the school.
Reid is easily Utah’s best-known draw in NFL coaching circles. He won his first Super Bowl with the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV and led three previous teams to the Super Bowl, with a 1-2 record.
Reid, who is in his 10th season as a Kansas City head coach, has an overall record of 247-138 as an NFL coach with the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, and Kansas City’s divisional round win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was the his 20th win as head coach in the playoffs.
This is the eighth straight year Reid has led the Chiefs to the postseason, and the fifth straight they’ve made it to the AFC championship game.
Porter Ellett, Kansas City Chiefs offensive quality control coach
Utah tie: He attended BYU.
Ellett, a native of Loa, Utah, is a graduate of BYU and was a equipment room clerk for the Cougars football team.
He is now in his third season as the Chiefs’ offensive quality control coach, after serving three years as a senior assistant coach for Reid.
Alex Whittingham, defensive quality control coach for the Kansas City Chiefs
Utah tie: Played for Utah.
Whittingham, the son of Utes coach Kyle Whittingham who trained at Brighton High, played linebacker for his father before joining the coaching ranks under Reid.
The young Whittingham is in his fifth season as an assistant to the Chiefs and fourth as the franchise’s defensive quality control coach.
Brad Kragthorpe, Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers assistant coach
Utah tie: Graduate Assistant at Utah State.
Kragthorpe spent two years on Utah State’s coaching staff as a graduate offensive assistant in 2016-17, working with wide receivers.
His grandfather, Dave Kragthorpe, played football at Utah State, was a longtime college coach — which 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, quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles
Utah tie: Played for Utah.
Johnson was the quarterback for the 2008 Sugar Bowl-winning Utes team, leading the program to a 13-0 season that finished with a No. 1 national ranking. He was a three-year starter for Utah and the winningest quarterback in program history (with a 26-7 record) as he threw 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 the staff at Utah (2010 to 2013) – he became offensive coordinator at age 24 – and at Mississippi State, Houston and Florida before joining the Eagles staff in his current position two years ago.
According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the 35-year-old recently spoke with the New York Jets about their open offensive coordinator position, a job that went to former Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett.