Fran and Amy Sirianni of Howard Avenue in West Ellicott have been loyal fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers for years.
But that allegiance to the Super Bowl champions will now be put to the test, because their youngest son is now a Kansas City Chief.
Nick Sirianni has landed a job as the offensive quality control coach with the National Football League team. Sirianni, 27, interviewed with new Chiefs' head coach Todd Haley last Saturday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, was hired on Monday, is preparing to move to Missouri this weekend and will start his new job next week.
Nick Sirianni, second from right, is the Kansas City Chiefs’ new offensive quality control coach. He is seen here with, from left, father Fran, brother Jay and brother Mike.
P-J file photo
''I don't know if I can count it as a job,'' Sirianni said by cell phone Thursday afternoon. ''It's an unbelievable opportunity to reach your dream.''
In his new position, the 1999 Southwestern Central School graduate will be responsible for breaking down the opponent's defensive game film, usually weeks in advance of the scheduled contest. The film breakdown is something Sirianni did regularly as an assistant coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for the last three years.
''It's a lot of stuff I do (at IUP),'' Sirianni said. ''It's breaking down opponent's film, and then just a lot of stuff from there, like helping to write up playbooks and tip sheets for our guys. The main thing is breaking down the film and really learning how to coach in the NFL, which is exciting.''
Sirianni said he could be in line for either an assistant quarterbacks or assistant wide receiver coaching positions with the Chiefs as well, which would only further enhance his rapid rise up the coaching ranks.
''I'm lucky, I'm blessed,'' he said. ''To be this young and get this job, it's a blessing just to get my foot in the door at this age.''
Before arriving at IUP in 2006, Sirianni won two NCAA Division III championships as a player and one as an assistant coach at powerful Mount Union (Ohio) College. As a senior, in 2003, he caught 52 passes for 998 yards and 13 touchdowns on his way to all-conference honors
Ironically, it was Sirianni's ties to Mount Union and a little bit of good fortune that ultimately helped him get the job in Kansas City.
Home on break during his sophomore year at Mount Union, Sirianni happened to be wearing a Mount Union T-shirt while he was working out at the Lakewood YMCA. The T-shirt drew the attention of another man nearby. That man just happened to be Haley, then the wide receivers coach with the Chicago Bears, who was vacationing in Chautauqua County.
A bond was formed.
''I would pick his brain,'' Sirianni said. ''He gave me some good drills that I used to develop me as a wide receiver and that I later used in my coaching. ... He helped me out a lot.''
Finally, two years ago - again at the YMCA - Haley mentioned to Sirianni that the latter would make a good candidate for a quality control job in the NFL.
And when Haley, whose assistant coaching resume includes stops with the New York Jets, Chicago, Dallas and Arizona, was hired as the Chiefs' head coach on Feb. 6, he didn't forget about Sirianni and called him about an interview.
''When I left (Indianapolis), I felt I did a great job,'' Sirianni said. ''I did feel really confident. I felt good leaving there that I was going to have a job and, fortunately enough, thank God, it worked out.''
What the Sirianni family, which includes older brothers Jay (the coach of the state Class C champion Southwestern Trojans) and Mike (the head head coach at perennially strong Washington & Jefferson College), will do about their love of the Steelers is a story for another day.