New Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni’s passion for football was instilled in him from the day he was born. His father, Fran, was a high school coach for 45 years, and Nick spent his childhood hanging out at his dad’s practices with his brothers, both of whom are successful coaches in their own right.
As important as football is to the Siriannis, there was no confusing where it stood in the family’s list of priorities.
“I’m looking at a sign that’s over our archway that says, ‘Faith, family and football,’” Fran Sirianni told The Athletic back in 2018. “That’s probably the motto of our family. Our faith is strong but football is definitely strong in that third spot.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 25, 2021
Nick, now 39, was already thinking about a career in coaching when he played for Division III powerhouse Mount Union, where he was a three-year starter and an all-conference selection as a senior. He stayed at Mount Union as an assistant coach after graduating and has been on the rise ever since.
That is, except for the time he went to interview for a sales job at the very beginning of his coaching career. A friend had set up an interview for Nick during a trip they took to Miami. The location of the meeting changed at the last minute to the friend’s apartment.
There was one problem. Nick was locked out and his friend was on the beach with the only key. He finally secured the key following a sprint down the beach in his suit, resulting in a less than desirable physical appearance for the interview. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t get the job.
“I knew it wasn’t going to work out,” Nick told The Athletic. “I can laugh about it now though. It worked out the way it was supposed to.”
He briefly played in the Atlantic Indoor Football League while working at Mount Union, but the goal was always to make a career out of coaching.
“It was like God said, ‘You’re a football coach and you’re going to be a football coach,’” Nick told The Athletic.
He broke into the NFL in 2009 as a quality control coach with Kansas City. He stayed there in a variety of roles until joining the Chargers in the same position in 2013. It was during his time in San Diego that he formed a relationship with Frank Reich, who arrived in 2013 as well.
Reich became the team’s offensive coordinator in 2014 and promoted Sirianni to quarterbacks coach. When Reich took the Colts head-coaching job in 2019, he knew exactly who he wanted as his offensive coordinator.
“When I got here, the first thing I said to (Colts general manager) Chris Ballard was, ‘There is one guy we have to get on this staff, and that is Nick Sirianni,’” Reich said on a conference call this season. “I think the world of Nick. I think he is a brilliant offensive mind. He is a tireless worker. He pays attention to detail. I think he has a dynamic coaching personality. I think he is going to be a great head coach in this league sooner rather than later. It is hard for me to have a higher opinion of Nick than I already do. I just think so much of him.”
Reich’s endorsement of the 39-year-old undoubtedly played a key role in the Eagles deciding he was the best person to replace Doug Pederson, a choice that was made official on Sunday. The man who’s been around football his entire life has now reached the very highest level his desired profession of coaching can offer.
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