Here are the players and coaches in Super Bowl LVIII with Illinois connections

Lincoln-Way East’s Nick Allegretti, former Bears coach Matt Nagy headline local ties to Super Bowl LVIII

Kansas City Chiefs guard Nick Allegretti comes onto the field with the team during introductions before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023 in Kansas City, Mo.

All eyes will be on Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. A handful of players and coaches with Illinois ties will be participating in the game.

Two Illinois natives likely will see action on the field Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers square off with the Lombardi Trophy on the line. Several more will roam the sidelines as coaches. There also are a few former Bears playing and coaching.

Here’s a list of players and coaches participating in the Super Bowl who either grew up in Illinois, were born here and moved away, played or coached in Illinois or played or coached for the Bears.

The players

Nick Allegretti, Chiefs, offensive guard, No. 73

Chiefs starting guard Joe Thuney was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro during the 2023 season. Then he suffered a pectoral injury during the divisional round of the playoffs and had to miss the AFC championship game. No problem for the Chiefs. Backup Nick Allegretti stepped into the starting lineup at left guard and didn’t miss a beat.

The Frankfort native will try to win his third Super Bowl ring Sunday. Drafted out of Illinois with a seventh-round pick in 2019, Allegretti has been a part of all three previous Chiefs Super Bowl appearances in the Mahomes era.

His AFC title game heroics earned him a shoutout on Travis and Jason Kelce’s podcast “New Heights,” with Travis calling Allegretti “one of my favorite teammates of all time.”

Allegretti, 27, played high school ball at Lincoln-Way East, helping the Griffins to an IHSA Class 7A state runner-up finish in 2012. He was a third-place medalist at the state wrestling finals in 2014. He then went to Illinois and was a team captain for the Illini.

Allegretti has appeared in 74 career regular-season games with 13 starts. He also has appeared in 15 career playoff games, including four starts.

Nick Bosa, 49ers, defensive end, No. 97

San Francisco’s star pass rusher grew up in Florida and played at Ohio State. He doesn’t have any strong ties to Illinois, but his family history certainly does.

Bosa and his brother, Chargers star Joey Bosa, are the great-grandsons of reputed Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo. Born in 1906, Accardo grew up in Chicago and is said to have become involved in the mob in the 1920s, working his way up from the bottom. Sometime in the 1940s, years after Al Capone went to prison for tax evasion, Accardo ascended to lead Capone’s “Chicago Outfit,” although Accardo denied his involvement his entire life.

Accardo’s daughter Marie married Palmer Pyle, who played in the NFL in the 1960s. They had two children, Eric and Cheryl Kumerow (they took the last name of their mother’s second husband). Later, Cheryl Kumerow married Dolphins defensive end John Bosa and had two boys, Nick and Joey. The Bosa brothers’ cousin Jake Kumerow played at South Elgin and also plays in the NFL.

Their great-grandfather Accardo never served prison time and continually denied his involvement in organized crime, even doing so under oath before a U.S. Senate subcommittee in 1984. The senators tried to have him charged with perjury for denying his involvement, but the justice department declined to file charges. In his later years, he claimed he was a retired beer salesman. He died in 1992 at age 86.

Tashaun Gipson, 49ers, safety, No. 31

Tashaun Gipson played two seasons for the Bears in 2020 and ‘21. He started 28 regular-season games and one playoff game over two seasons. The Bears, with a new general manager in Ryan Poles, let Gipson walk away in free agency after the 2021 season. A former Pro Bowl safety, Gipson joined the 49ers and had five interceptions during his first season in San Francisco in 2022. He had one interception in 16 regular-season starts this year and forced a fumble in the NFC championship game against Detroit.

Taybor Pepper, 49ers, long snapper, No. 46

Taybor Pepper was born in Urbana. His father, Cam, played on the offensive line at Illinois in 1989 and ‘90. The family moved to Michigan, and Taybor played high school ball at Saline High School near Ann Arbor. He went on to play long snapper at Michigan State. His parents have since moved back to central Illinois. Pepper went undrafted in 2016 and bounced around with several teams before landing with the 49ers in 2020. He signed a three-year contract extension with San Francisco in February.

The rest

Chiefs safety Deon Bush played six seasons with the Bears from 2016 to 21. He won the Super Bowl with Kansas City last year. Chiefs practice squad tight end Matt Bushman lists Carbondale as his birthplace. His family moved to New Orleans when he was young and later moved to Arizona after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Chiefs defensive tackle Mike Pennel is on the practice squad but has been called up to the active roster throughout the playoffs. Pennel appeared in 17 games for the Bears in 2022.

49ers tight end George Kittle was born in Wisconsin and played at Iowa but has stated several times that he grew up a huge fan of the Bears. On the San Francisco practice squad, cornerback Terrance Mitchell played for the Bears in 2014 and ‘15, mostly as a backup, and tight end Jake Tonges played on the Bears in 2022.

The coaches

Brendan Daly, Chiefs, linebackers coach

Brendan Daly grew up in Springfield and went to Sacred Heart-Griffin before attending Drake University in Iowa. His coaching career began at a high school in Florida in 1997 before working his way up the rungs. He had a brief stop at Illinois State as tight ends coach in 2004. He won three Super Bowls as a Patriots assistant and two with the Chiefs. He’s going for his sixth Super Bowl ring Sunday. Including this year, he will have coached in eight of the past 10 Super Bowls with either the Patriots or the Chiefs.

Brian Griese, 49ers, quarterbacks coach

Brian Griese left ESPN in 2022 to join Kyle Shanahan’s staff as quarterbacks coach. He played quarterback for the Bears in 2006 and ‘07, appearing in 13 games and starting six in 2007. During the 2006 season, when the Bears reached Super Bowl XLI, Griese served as the primary backup to starting quarterback Rex Grossman. After his playing days, Griese spent more than a decade working for ESPN as an analyst, including on the “Monday Night Football” broadcast.

Matt Nagy, (left) senior assistant and quarterbacks coach for the Kansas City Chiefs and former head coach of the Chicago Bears, smiles on the sidelines before their preseason game against the Bears, Aug. 13, 2022, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Matt Nagy, Chiefs, offensive coordinator

Matt Nagy rejoined the Chiefs’ coaching staff as quarterbacks coach last season after four years as the Bears’ head coach. Nagy coached the Bears to a 34-31 regular-season record in four seasons, with two playoff appearances. Last year, when offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy left the Chiefs to take the same role with the Washington Commanders, the Bears promoted Nagy to OC.

The role was not new to Nagy. Before heading to Chicago, Nagy spent two seasons as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2016 and ‘17. Before that, he was the quarterbacks coach from 2013 to ‘15. He also worked under head coach Andy Reid in Philadelphia for several years.

Dave Toub, Chiefs, special teams coordinator/assistant head coach

Born in New York, Toub served as the Bears’ special teams coordinator under Lovie Smith from 2004 to ‘12. Under his guidance, Robbie Gould became a Pro Bowl kicker and Devin Hester emerged as arguably the best return specialists ever. Toub has been in Kansas City since 2013.

The rest

Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen spent one season at Illinois as a defensive assistant in 2005. Chiefs statistical analysis coordinator Mike Frazier was born in Evanston. Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck played for the Bears from 1994-98. Assistant strength and conditioning coach/director of sports science Ryan Reynolds grew up in Fulton, Illinois, near the Iowa border. Chiefs defensive assistant Rod Wilson played for the Bears from 2005-08 and again in 2010.

San Francisco defensive coordinator Steve Wilks served as Bears defensive backs coach from 2006-08. 49ers assistant defensive backs coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker coached wide receivers at Illinois from 2016-20 under Lovie Smith. 49ers running backs coach Robert Turner Jr. grew up in East Chicago, Indiana, just over the Indiana border.

49ers general manager John Lynch was born in Hinsdale in 1971, but his family relocated to the San Diego area in 1972. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t grow up in Illinois, but his parents Mike and Peggy Shanahan both grew up in Illinois. Mike is from Franklin Park and went to East Leyden High School. Peggy grew up in Atlanta, Illinois. Both went to Eastern Illinois University.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.