KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes has high praise for a Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach who may not be known to many outside the team facility, but has become a valuable member of the staff.
Offensive quality control coach Porter Ellett is pretty hard to miss. The sixth-year coach, who only has his left arm, has been with the Chiefs organization since 2017, starting out as senior assistant to head coach Andy Reid.
“He brings energy. He never has a bad day,” Mahomes said in an NFL Films special on the coach in September. “He’s gonna be the best himself he can be every single day.”
He was promoted to quality control in 2020.
Ellett lost the use of his right arm in an accident at age 4 and had it surgically removed at 16. He’s done everything with just his left arm for most of his life.
He was an all-state basketball and baseball player and worked on a farm growing up in Loa, Utah, and credits sports for helping him fight through his disability and bullying.
His resilient and positive spirit impacts the entire Chiefs organization, including Mahomes.
“He understands not only the offensive side of the ball, but the defensive side of the ball. I know one day he’s gonna be a head coach in this league,” Mahomes said.
During Super Bowl week, Ellett said he was surprised Mahomes said that because he doesn’t talk about being a head coach much.
The BYU alum also has a strong connection with Reid, another BYU alum. They got connected through Ellett’s friend Devin Woodhouse, who was an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Chiefs from 2016 to 2019 and is married to Reid’s daughter, Drew.
After talking with Reid at his house in casual conversation, the head coach brought him in for interview, and Ellett’s professional coaching career started from there.
“It’s special,” Ellett said Wednesday. “We talk about BYU all the time. We share a lot of things in common, which is nice to be able to talk to each other about.
“He brought me in and mentored me, you know, and it still feels that way. You know, he’ll every once in a while look over at me and wink in the middle of a meeting. Just give me a nod of ‘Hey, I’m here for you, you know, we’re we’re doing this together.’ So that’s special to me. Something that I really cherish.”
Ellett has been with Kansas City for the entire current Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. For him, being able to be where he is with his disability is the blessing all in itself.
“I feel really blessed to be able to do what I do in spite of the challenges that I face. So that is a big blessing to me, to be able to be here doing what I’m doing,” Ellett said.
“And I realize that it’s rare, and it’s something that I don’t even know if it’s ever happened before. You know, one-armed coach. But I’m grateful to be the one doing it, and I hope in the future, other kids see it who have maybe a physical disability and say, ‘Hey, you know, like I can do that too if he’s out there doing it.’ So I’m grateful for that, grateful that I could be example for those kids, too.”