Big Ten stacked with Super Bowl ties

It's Super Bowl week, and here in Chicago, we're celebrating the hiring of Mike Martz as Bears offensive coordinator after a month-long search. Hope Jay Cutler has a life insurance policy.

OK, moving on to less depressing topics, like the Big Ten and Super Bowl XLIV.

Once again, the Big Ten has plenty of connections to the game, including 20 former players on the two teams, more than any other conference.

All 11 member schools will be represented by a player and/or coach participating in the game. Michigan has the highest number of former players (four), followed by Ohio State (three) and then six teams -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin -- each with two former players. Penn State and Minnesota will have former coaches on the sideline Sunday.

Both head coaches have Big Ten roots, as the Colts' Jim Caldwell played at Iowa and served as an assistant at Iowa, Northwestern and Penn State. The Saints' Sean Payton had a one-year stint as an Illinois assistant in 1996.

Here's the full lineup of Big Ten links to Super Bowl XLIV, courtesy of the league office:



Kelvin Hayden, DB, Illinois

Dallas Clark, TE, Iowa

Bob Sanders*, DB, Iowa

Mike Hart, RB, Michigan

Marlin Jackson*, DB, Michigan

Ervin Baldwin, DE, Michigan State

John Gill, DL, Northwestern

Anthony Gonzalez*, WR, Ohio State

Curtis Painter, QB, Purdue

Jim Sorgi*, QB, Wisconsin


Jim Caldwell, Head Coach (Played at Iowa from 1973-76; Assistant at Iowa in 1977, Northwestern in 1981 and Penn State from 1986-92)

Larry Coyer, Defensive Coordinator (Assistant at Iowa from 1974-77 and Ohio State from 1991-92)

Gene Huey, Running Backs (Assistant at Ohio State from 1988-91)

Tom Moore, Offensive Coordinator (Played at Iowa from 1957-60; Assistant at Iowa from 1961-62 and Minnesota from 1972-73 and 1975-76)

Ray Rychleski, Special Teams (Assistant at Penn State in 1991)

Bill Teerlinck, Defensive Assistant (Assistant at Indiana from 2003-04)

John Teerlinck, Defensive Line (Assistant at Illinois from 1980-82)



Pierre Thomas, RB, Illinois

Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana

Courtney Roby, WR, Indiana

Adrian Arrington, WR, Michigan

Jonathan Goodwin, C, Michigan

Zach Strief, OT, Northwestern

Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

Will Smith, DE, Ohio State

Drew Brees, QB, Purdue

Jonathan Casillas, LB, Wisconsin


Sean Payton, Head Coach (Assistant at Illinois in 1996)

Greg McMahon, Special Teams (Assistant at Minnesota from 1983-84 and Illinois from 1992-2004)

Bret Ingalls, Running Backs (Assistant at Northwestern from 2006-08)

Aaron Kromer, Offensive Line/Running Game (Assistant at Northwestern from 1999-2000)

Mike Mallory, Assistant Special Teams (Played at Michigan from 1982-85; Assistant at Indiana from 1986-87 and Illinois from 2001-05)

Terry Malone, Tight Ends (Assistant at Michigan from 1997-2005)

*-Injured reserve