Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano passed away, the team announced Sunday.
Sparano was probably best known as the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins who led the turnaround of the 2008 team from 1-15 and the first overall pick to the playoffs, thanks in part to his willingness to implement the Wildcat. But his next Miami teams failed to achieve that same success, and he was fired during the 2011 season. He also served as interim coach of the 2014 Oakland Raiders for the final 12 games after the early-season firing of Dennis Allen. Overall, his record as a head coach was 32-41.
His well-traveled NFL tenure also included stops in Cleveland (where he entered the NFL as a quality control coach after serving as head coach at New Haven), Dallas (where he was when Miami hired him), Jacksonville, Oakland, and San Francisco. The 56-year-old Sparano was entering his third season as the Vikings' offensive line coach.