By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Former Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano may have suffered a heart attack, before his death, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. The long-time NFL Insider said that Sparano went to a local hospital with chest pains on Thursday.
Following tests, he was released from the hospital on Friday.
Then, early this morning, Jeannette, his wife, found the long-time NFL coach unconscious in the kitchen, according to media reports. She said the couple were preparing to leave for church when he was found.
She attempted CPR on her husband. However, he could not be revived.
Sparano dies just days before the Vikings were playing to begin their training camp. This Wednesday, July 25th, their camp begins with practices from 10:30-11:30 pm and 2:45-4:30 pm local time.
Heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, is a block in the coronary artery. The heart muscle is affected from the lack of blood supply. It also causes tightness or pain in the chest.
There are more than 3 million cases of a heart attack each year. If it is found in time, heart attacks are treatable by medical professionals.
He was just weeks away from beginning his third season with the Vikings when he died. He spent the past two seasons in Mike Zimmer‘s coaching staff.
“I love Tony Sparano,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “He was a great teacher, a grinder of a worker and had a toughness and fighting spirit that showed in our linemen. He was a great husband, father and grandfather and a great friend to me. This is just sinking in for us but Tony will be sorely missed by all.”
He has also been an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, and the San Francisco 49ers. He was the Miami Dolphins head coach for several seasons and spent time as the interim head coach for the Raiders.
He also coached at the college level.
“I am at a loss for words with Tony’s sudden passing,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. “Tony loved the game of football and his players. More importantly, he was a strong man of faith who treasured his family. My heart is with the Sparanos today. As an organization we will support them in whatever ways we can.”