Former Ohio State assistant coach Pete Carroll was among a group of 13 former Big Ten players and coaches who were victorious with the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, helping the team to its first Super Bowl title. The Seattle head coach was one of nine former coaches and 13 student-athletes with conference connections who appeared on the rosters of the Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
Seven former Big Ten standouts from four different schools were crowned NFL Champions, including Michigan State tight end Kellen Davis, Penn State fullback Michael Robinson and defensive tackle Jordan Hill, Purdue defensive end Cliff Avril and Wisconsin free safety Chris Maragos, linebacker O'Brien Schofield and quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson threw for 206 yards and two touchdowns, Avril recorded three tackles, including one for loss, and Maragos and Schofield each recorded a solo stop.
Eleven Big Ten schools were represented among the players and coaches in the Super Bowl, including draft picks and undrafted free agents who entered the National Football League (NFL) between 2004 and 2013. Wisconsin was tied for second among all schools with four players on the rosters, followed by Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue with two each. Four coaches in the game have ties to Michigan State, the most among conference programs, while Ohio State has two coaches with Buckeye ties.
The Broncos had six former Big Ten players on their roster, each from different schools. Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker, Northwestern cornerback Marquice Cole, Purdue defensive end Shaun Phillips and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball were among the active roster, while Michigan State defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson and Nebraska linebacker Stewart Bradley were on the injured reserve.
Carroll and eight other coaches among the Broncos' and Seahawks' coaching staffs have ties to Big Ten schools. Carroll (secondary coach at Ohio State), offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell (played at Wisconsin), assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel (assistant at Michigan State), running backs coach Sherman Smith (assistant at Illinois), defensive quality control coach Robert Saleh (assistant at Michigan State) and assistant strength and conditioning coach Mondray Gee (graduate assistant at Michigan State) each have Big Ten ties. Broncos' offensive coordinator Adam Gase (attended Michigan State), offensive line coach Dave Magazu (graduate assistant at Michigan) and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers (played at Indiana and recruiting intern at Ohio State) have also spent time with current Big Ten institutions.