DENVER (CBS4)– Super Bowl LIV will feature the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs. The last time the 49ers won the Super Bowl, former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan was the team’s offensive coordinator. Now Mike’s son, Kyle Shanahan is the head coach with San Francisco, looking to give the 49ers its first title since 1994. Here are the other Colorado connections to the big game on Sunday:
San Francisco 49ers
Emmanuel Sanders (Wide Receiver) – Former Denver Broncos wide receiver traded to the 49ers on Oct. 22nd, 2019. Sanders played for the Broncos from 2014-19 and won a ring with the team in Super Bowl 50.
Ben Garland (Offensive lineman) – The Grand Junction native who played college football at the Air Force Academy, will play in his second Super Bowl. Garland was an undrafted free agent pick up for the Broncos in 2012 and saw his first playing time in 2014 and was the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee that season.
Ahkello Witherspoon (Cornerback) – The former Colorado Buffaloes cornerback played three seasons in Boulder before he was drafted by the 49ers in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Weston Richburg (Center) – The former Colorado State Rams center started a school-record 50 games in four seasons in Fort Collins. Richburg will miss Super Bowl 54 with a knee injury.
Kyle Shanahan (Head Coach) – Son of former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan, who spent 14 seasons (1995-2008) with Denver led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in 1997 and 1998.
John Embree (Tight Ends/Assistant Head Coach) – John Embree played tight end for the Colorado Buffaloes from 1983-86 and coached at CU as a positions coach from 1993-2002. He became the Buffaloes first African-American head coach from 2011-12.
John Benton (Offensive Line Coach) – A native of Durango, Benton was a four-year starter as an offensive lineman at Colorado State from 1983-86. He earned honorable mention All-WAC honors during his junior and senior seasons. Benton also coached at Colorado State as a graduate assistant from 1987-90, as the offensive line coach from 1995-99 and the co-offensive coordinator from 2000-03.
Robert Turner Jr. (Running Backs Coach) – Robert Turner Jr. spent 15 seasons with the Denver Broncos (1995-2009) and was part of Denver’s Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII coaching staff.
Joe Woods (Defensive Backs Coach/Passing Game Coordinator) – Joe Woods served as Denver’s Defensive Coordinator for two seasons (2017- 18) and as defensive backs coach from 2015-16.
Wes Welker (Wide Receivers Coach) – Welker played for the Denver Broncos for two seasons from 2013-14.
Taylor Embree (Offensive Quality Control Assistant) – Son of John Embree, Taylor is a native of Denver.
Mike McDaniel (Run Game Coordinator) – McDaniel is a native of Greeley who played collegiately at Yale. He started his coaching career with the Broncos as an intern in 2005.
Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Pennel (Defensive tackle) – Pennel probably had the longest road to Super Bowl 54. He is an Aurora-native who played at Grandview High School, then went the junior college route at Scottsdale Community College. Next, Pennel played at Arizona State where he was suspended indefinitely and transferred to Division II power Colorado State-Pueblo. Pennel was picked up by the Chiefs midseason.
Eric Bieniemy (Offensive Coordinator) – Bieniemy is the Colorado Buffaloes all-time leading rusher with 3,940 yards and won a National Championship in 1990. He also finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting that season as well. He began his coaching career as an assistant in 2000 at Thomas Jefferson High School, before serving as the Buffaloes’ running backs coach in 2001-02 and offensive coordinator from 2011-12.