Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is considered one of the greatest at his position in modern league history. Nick Sirianni of the Philadelphia Eagles turned his modest roots into being seen as one of the best young coaches today.
The two will do battle in Super Bowl LVII from Arizona on Feb. 12 in a game that pits Reid against his former Eagles team. It’s going to be a storyline as the NFL prepares for what promises to be an epic contest inside State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
As such, this article will profile each of the head coaches leading their teams after wins during NFL Championship Sunday. You might know a lot about Andy Reid. But who is this Nick Sirianni young man and what made him a hot candidate leading up to the 2021 NFL season? Let’s check in on these two with some background before the big game kicks off.
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Nick Sirianni: From modest roots to being given chance of a lifetime
Sirianni, 41, grew up in West Elliott, New York where his father coached football at Southwestern Central High School. The latest census has the town with a population of a mere 8,771. As of 2023, the total enrollment for Sirianni’s former high school was a mere 431.
After graduating high school, Sirianni played wide receiver for Division III Mount Union in Ohio, winning national championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He played under the legendary Larry Kehres for the Raiders. As a senior, Sirianni tallied 998 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns while graduating with a degree in education.
Not necessarily on the radar of NFL teams, Sirianni ended up playing one season with the Canton Legends of the American Indoor Football League before turning to coaching.
Nick Sirianni’s coaching resume
After returning to Mount Union as a defensive backs coach for one season, Sirianni was hired by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, coaching wide receivers for three seasons.
That’s when fate would play a role in Sirianni’s elevation to the professional football ranks. He got an interview with then-Chiefs head coach Todd Haley through a friend.
Haley and Sirianni had a history together as they both attended the same YMCA when the youngster was in college and Haley was the Chicago Bears’ wide receivers coach. Kehres recalls Sirianni calling him up for advice about the interview and whether to take the job of offensive quality control coach under Haley in Kansas City.
“Oh, my goodness, this is a chance to get in the NFL, and with someone you know. Go. If your car won’t make it, stop here and take mine.”Kehres told Nick Sirianni at the time
Sirianni would spend four seasons as an assistant in Kansas City, also serving as the assistant quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach. When Haley was fired 13 games into the 2011 season and replaced on an interim basis by Romeo Crennel, it became clear that Sirianni’s future with the Chiefs was in question.
Enter into the equation a man by the name of Andy Reid who would ultimately be hired by Kansas City after Crennel posted a 2-14 campaign in 2012.
Reid wanted to bring his own staff with him, some individuals from the Philadelphia Eagles included. He opted to move off Sirianni and the rest of Crennel’s staff. Roughly a decade later, and Reid is talking about that decision with a matchup against Sirianni looming.
“When I came here I was told Nick Sirianni is, this guy really is a special coach. This guy is really a good football coach. Ted Crews was really his biggest fan at that time and just said this guy is really good.
But I had David [Culley], David was my assistant coach. He had been with me for 14 years, so he was coming with me and I had to make that determination to keep Nick or not. I knew being as good as he was, his reputation, he was going to get something.”Andy Reid on letting Nick Sirianni go
Sirianni would end up moving on to the then-San Diego Chargers as a quality control coach in 2013 before being promoted to quarterbacks coach, working with Philip Rivers from 2014-15. He was part of the Chargers’ move from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2016, acting as their wide receivers coach. He’s one of the primary reasons Tyrell Williams morphed into a 1,000-yard receiver and played a role in Keenan Allen’s ascension to stardom.
This led to a promotion. For the first time in his career, Sirianni would be in charge of a unit. Just recently hired as the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach, Frank Reich brought in Sirianni to be his offensive coordinator. He served three seasons in that role, once again working with Philip Rivers in the process. Reich and Sirianni had worked with the Chargers from 2013-16, leading to another connection helping advance Sirianni’s career.
Sirianni turned his experience with the Colts into a head coaching gig in Philadelphia. He was brought on ahead of the 2021 season. At that point, reactions were not too friendly to the Eagles’ hiring of Sirianni.
Sirianni led the Eagles to a 9-8 record and a playoff appearance in his first season. Even then, there were questions about his ability to lead a true Super Bowl contender. About that? Yeah, he’s done well.
Sirianni is married to Brett Ashley Sirianni. She grew up in a Chiefs family. Interestingly enough, the two met when he was working with the Kansas City Chiefs. They got married back in June of 2013 . The couple have three children, Jacob, Taylor and Miles.
Related: Early bold predictions for Super Bowl LVII
Andy Reid: The origin story
A product of Southern California, Reid was born on March 19, 1958. From an early age, he was into sports. That included being a vender at Dodger Stadium as a teenager.
At 13 years old, Reid made an appearance on Monday Night Football during a game between the Los Angeles Rams and Washington. He took part in the punt, pass and kick challenge.
Notice how the broadcast couldn’t even spell Reid’s name right? The dude was also massive for a 13-year-old.
Reid’s adolescence included graduating from John Marshall High School. He played youth football in East Hollywood under coach Pete Arbogast who is mostly known for being a broadcaster covering USC athletics, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Olympic Games.
Following his high school days, Reid played offensive tackle at Glendale Community College in Southern California. He had planned to transfer to Stanford, but a knee injury prevented that. Instead, legendary BYU head coach LaVell Edwards brought him to Provo. Reid was teammates with Jim McMahon and Tom Holmoe during his time with the Cougars.
Andy Reid: From Flagstaff to legendary NFL head coach
The early days of Reid’s coaching career didn’t seem to translate to what we see today. He spent one season as a graduate assistant under Edwards at BYU. Reid was interested in going into writing before Edwards recommended that he opt for a career in coaching. During his playing days at BYU, teammates and coaches realized just how analytical Reid was and how that might translate to the coaching ranks.
“We’d be out there practicing and working, and there’d be questions coming up on how to pick up a certain blitz. I noticed a lot of times (Reid) was helping the guard, the tackle or the center next to him, to make sure they understood what to do if there was some kind of stunt or whatever they did. I remember saying at the time that this guy’s got an unusual feel and knowledge of the game.”The late LaVell Edwards on Andy Reid
During his time as a graduate assistant with BYU, Reid’s colleagues included legendary NFL head coach Mike Holmgren.
In 1986, Reid served as an assistant coach at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Former NFL head coach Brad Childress was among his colleagues with the program. Short on funding, these assistants actually went door-do-door in order to raise funding and keep the program alive. That came after a three-year stint as the San Francisco State offensive line coach.
After spending time with UTEP and Missouri in the college ranks from 1987-91, Reid finally got his shot in the NFL. In 1992, Reid was hired by the aforementioned Holmgren to be the Green Bay Packers tight ends and assistant offensive line coach.
This began a seven-year stint working with Holmgren in Wisconsin. That span included a Super Bowl title following the 1996 season. A year later, Andy Reid was promoted to quarterbacks coach and worked with the great Brett Favre.
This ultimately led to the Philadelphia Eagles hiring Reid as their next head coach in 1999 after the firing of Ray Rhodes. The rest is history. Reid led Philadelphia to nine playoff appearances in 14 seasons, including the NFC Championship in 2004. He was ultimately fired following the 2012 campaign, only to latch on as the Chiefs head coach shortly thereafter.
Related: Andy Reid out to exact revenge against former Eagles team
It’s insane to look at. A head coach going for his second career Super Bowl title starting his career traveling from Provo to San Francisco and Flagstaff. From knocking on doors to receive funding to being a mere four regular-season wins away from passing the great Tom Landry for fourth on the all-time list.
Related: Super Bowl LVIII QB comparisons
Andy Reid coaching tree
Dating back to his days with Philadelphia, Reid has helped multiple assistant achieve the apex of coaching at the highest level. His coaching tree is vast:
- Todd Bowles, current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach
- Brad Childress, former Minnesota Vikings head coach
- David Culley, former Houston Texans head coach
- Leslie Frazier, former Minnesota Vikings head coach
- John Harbaugh, current Baltimore Ravens head coach
- Dick Jauron, former Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills head coach
- Sean McDermott, current Buffalo Bills head coach
- Marty Mornhinweg, former Detroit Lions head coach
- Matt Nagy, former Chicago Bears head coach
- Doug Pederson, current Jacksonville Jaguars head coach
- Ron Rivera, current Washington Commanders head coach
- Pat Shurmur, former Cleveland Browns and New York Giants head coach
- Steve Spagnuolo, former St. Louis Rams head coach
Personal life: Tragedy and a lifetime of love
Reid married his wife, Tammy, back in 1981. The two met while attending BYU and started dating in the early 80s before being married.
The two have five children together. Their eldest, Garrett, passed away back in 2012 from a heroin overdose while attending Philadelphia Eagles training camp.
An assistant with the Chiefs at the time, Britt Reid was involved in a car accident mere days before Super Bowl LIV against the San Francisco 49ers in February of 2020. He was ultimately charged with DWI in an accident that severely injured a five-year-old girl. In November of 2021, Reid was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the accident.