Baylor grad part of Chiefs coaching staff in thrilling OT playoff win over Bills
Assistant coach credits BU professor for helping him take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Baylor graduate was part of the coaching staff that led the Kansas City Chiefs to a thrilling overtime victory against the Buffalo Bills in a high-scoring and fast-paced playoff game Sunday night that is being hailed one of the most memorable in recent NFL history.
Porter Ellett, 32, is a 2017 graduate of Baylor’s master’s program in education sports management and currently serves as the offensive quality control coach for the Chiefs.
He spoke with KWTX early Monday morning, mere hours after an epic back-and-forth divisional round showdown in which the teams scored four times in the final two minutes of regulation before the Chiefs pulled off the victory in the first drive of overtime, winning 42-36.
“Last night’s game was crazy though, with 13 seconds left and needing a field goal. Most people thought it was over,” Ellett said. “I had a little bit of faith, but I wasn’t quite sure we’d be able to pull that one off.”
Ellett said they Chiefs pulled off the unthinkable with Texas Tech grad and Texas native Patrick Mahomes leading the way.
Ellett and Mahomes work closely together and Ellett is often seen warming up with the NFL quarterback before games are broadcast to millions of fans across the country.
His job duties also leave him responsible for parts of the running and blocking game, working primarily with running backs and tight ends.
Ellett’s been with the Chiefs through several good seasons, including winning the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years in 2020.
“We get to go to another AFC Championship and host at home,” Ellett said. “First ever team to do four straight AFC Championships at their home field.”
Ellett’s road to the NFL hasn’t been easy, but like the Chiefs in Sunday night’s game, he beat the odds.
The Loa, Utah native lost the use of his right arm when he was four after he was thrown from a pickup truck while working sheep.
He suffered a severe head injury and significant nerve damage. By the time he was 16, his arm had been amputated.
Despite the disability, Ellett played pretty much every sport, except for football, which wasn’t offered because the small size of his high school.
While in college at Brigham Young University, Ellett fell in love with the game and never looked back.
His career path brought him and his wife, Carlie, to Waco, where Ellett pursued the master’s degree in sports management.
Through a chance encounter with Coach Andy Reid, Porter was offered a job while still in school at Baylor.
He first served as a special assistant to Reid.
Porter says he owes much of his good fortune to Baylor University for supporting him when he decided to leave the program in Waco early to pursue his dream while continuing his education online.
“Coach Reid, in the middle of schooling, was like, ‘well you need to finish that’ and I said ‘let me go talk to my professors.’ My professors said ‘no, you’ve got to take it. You can finish (the degree) online,’” Ellett said.
“If they wouldn’t have been as flexible, I don’t know if I would have gotten that degree, or if coach would have been willing to hire me.”
Porter takes his Baylor pride with him even on the Chief’s territory.
Carlie captured video of their daughter Piper, 2, running to hug her dad as he left the stadium following the big win Sunday night.
Ellett was wearing a Baylor men’s basketball national championship t-shirt. He wanted to finish his talk with KWTX by giving a shoutout to his alma mater.
“I’m also grateful to Baylor and all the things they’re doing in sports,” Ellett said. “Congratulations to the football team, men’s basketball team, acrobatics and tumbling team. Incredible year there at Baylor. Keep up the good work, Waco, and also ‘Sic ‘Em” Bears!”
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