Tony Sparano

 

Age: 54 (born Oct. 7, 1961, in West Haven, Conn.)

Position: Vikings offensive line coach.

 

College: New Haven (Conn.).

 

College coaching career: Became New Haven offensive line coach in 1984, staying at his alma mater through 1987. Was Boston University offensive line coach in 1988 and served as offensive coordinator from 1989 to ’93. Returned to New Haven as head coach from 1994 to ’98. Appeared in two NCAA Division II playoffs; his program led D-II in scoring (42.8 points per game) in 1994.

 

Pro coaching career: Joined the expansion Cleveland Browns as offensive quality control coach in 1999. Coached the offensive line in 2000. Was part of coaching staff purges under Chris Palmer in 2000, Marty Schottenheimer in Washington in 2001 and Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville in 2002. … Hired by Bill Parcells as Dallas tight ends coach in 2003. Became Cowboys offensive line coach/running game in 2005 and assistant head coach in 2007. … In 2008, Parcells was running Miami’s front office when he hired Sparano to replace Cam Cameron, who had gone 1-15 the year before. Sparano finished second in NFL Coach of the Year voting after the Dolphins went 11-5 and won the AFC East while setting the NFL record for greatest one-year turnaround. They lost their playoff opener. Was fired after Week 14 of the 2011 season with Miami at 4-9. … Returned to the NFL as Jets offensive coordinator in 2012, but was fired after one disappointing season. … Joined the Raiders as assistant head coach/offensive line in 2013. Became interim head coach during the 2014 season and was fired at the end of the year. … Went to San Francisco as tight ends coach in 2015 but again was a victim of a quick coaching purge.

 

Head coaching record: 32-41 (.438) regular season; 0-1 postseason.

 

Did you know? Sparano played center at New Haven. “I was a Division III center and I wasn’t very good. But I was smart and I made my way around the field pretty good,” he said.