Assistant Siciliano On Quite A Ride

The past few months have been a time of change for OSU football staffer Nick Siciliano. First, his wife had quadruplets in early February, and now he's filling in as the Buckeye quarterbacks coach while Joe Daniels recovers from surgery. All indications are that things in the Buckeye QB room are humming along smoothly in the process.

Manhattan-born Cirque du Soleil performer Anthony Gatto is one of the premier jugglers in the world. Right now, he's got nothing on Nick Siciliano.

Not only has Siciliano taken on the role of Ohio State quarterbacks coach while Joe Daniels recovers from having a kidney removed, but the 33-year-old has had quite the addition to his home life.

On Feb. 7, his wife Analisa gave birth to quadruplets, two boys and two girls. Little Gabrielle, Zoe and Giovanni have returned to the Siciliano home, while the Sicilianos hope to have Cole home from the OSU Medical Center very soon.

Siciliano has three others that he's fully responsible for as well in Todd Boeckman, Antonio Henton and Joe Bauserman. It's safe to say Siciliano has more than a full plate – it's more like one of the overflowing dishes one might see a relative toting at Thanksgiving.

"It's been very busy," Siciliano said. "I've had a great time. I get to do what I love, be here, coaching football, and I have an instant family. It's been tremendous. I have no complaints."

The coach had plenty of time to get ready for each role. He said he and Analisa knew fairly early in the process that they would be having multiples, while football head coach Jim Tressel approached him when Daniels illness became known early during the offseason.

Football sports information director Shelly Poe said that Daniels tests have been encouraging, and the eighth-year coach has been around the football facility as much as possible during the spring while leaving much of the coaching to Siciliano.

Siciliano said he's trying to coach in the mold of Daniels, someone he said is not a yeller or a screamer but a teacher.

"I'm trying to teach the way Joe Daniels would teach it," he said. "That's going to be the best way with these kids. My sole responsibility as far as I'm concerned is to keep that seat warm for when he comes back."

Starting quarterback Boeckman said that Siciliano has been a little more "upbeat" on a daily basis than Daniels would be, getting, as he said, "crazy" in the film room Thursday afternoon. Boeckman, the resident elder statesman of the group now in his fifth spring, said it didn't take much to adjust to Siciliano's coaching style.

"I've known him for four years," Boeckman said. "He maybe had to prove himself a little bit just to see how he handles himself, see if he's doing the right things and saying the right things, and I think he has."

Siciliano has had varied experiences in his time as a coach. He started in football at Youngstown State, graduating in 1999 as a computer information systems major and student coach under Tressel. From there, he spent two seasons working under Bob Stoops and quarterbacks coach Chuck Long as the assistant video coordinator.

After one year in 2001 as the tight ends coach at Youngstown State, Siciliano spent a year as the offensive coordinator at Urbana University in Urbana, Ohio. From there he spent two years at North Carolina A&T, a historically black college, as a wide receivers and quarterbacks coach before his return to OSU.

"I've worked for coach (Tressel) for a while now, and I've had the ability for the past three years - plus the stuff I did at Youngstown for him - to learn from him, so I've been fortunate," Siciliano said. "Then when I was at Oklahoma I worked with Chuck Long, so I've been around three of the best quarterbacks coaches in the country."

As a non-full-time assistant, Siciliano said his duties included charting plays and keeping accurate data on the team, but he has not been able to hold meetings or coach on the field, an ego check from his time at earlier positions. The authority he now has over the quarterbacks for the time being has been a boost.

"I feel good about it because (Tressel) trusts me with them," he said. "Even though it is the spring it's still an important time."

Of course, it's an important time in Siciliano's personal life as well. He said Analisa has been a trooper, never complaining once, while he deals with the increased role at work and home. In the meantime, the coach is down to around three hours of sleep per night.

"You learn to push yourself through the tired spells," he said with a smile, "and have a little coffee or some Coke."


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