By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Former NFL head coach Tony Sparano died unexpectedly on Sunday, according to NFL.com. He was 56-years-old.
Sparano, according to the Minnesota Vikings, died early Sunday morning. He had completed two seasons as the Vikings offensive line coach under head coach Mike Zimmer.
“Our hearts go out to Jeanette and the entire Sparano family as we all mourn the loss of Tony,” Vikings owner Mark and Zygi Wilf said. “Tony was a passionate and driven individual who cared deeply about his family, and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Tony’s presence within the Vikings organization will be deeply missed. We are only thinking of Tony’s family during this incredibly difficult time. We ask that the entire NFL and Vikings family keep the Sparano’s in their thoughts.”
Prior to coming to the Vikings, he was the San Francisco 49ers Tight Ends coach for a season in 2015. He also spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons with the Oakland Raiders, first as their Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Line Coach, before being their interim Head Coach.
Sparano was the New York Jets offensive coordinator in 2012. He spent 2008 through 2011 seasons as the Miami Dolphins head coach.
He also spent time as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins, and the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. He began his coaching career with the University of New Haven Chargers and the Boston University Terriers.
As a college head coach at New Haven, he went 41-14-1, including a loss in the NCAA Division II Championship in 1997. Sparano was 32-41 as an NFL head coach, as he went 29-32 with the Dolphins, including a playoff appearance in 2008, before losing to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card Game.
He is survived by his wife Jeanette. Sparano had two sons, Tony and Andrew, as well as daughter, Ryan Leigh. He also had four grandchildren.
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