The Minnesota Vikings have filled their offensive line coach opening with the hiring of Tony Sparano.
It seems just like yesterday that Mike Zimmer didn’t renew offensive line coach Jeff Davidson’s contract for the upcoming year. Zimmer didn’t want to, nobody can blame him after the, to be positive, so-so year the line had. Now the Minnesota Vikings have already moved on.
Zimmer has hired Tony Sparano for the position. Both are disciples of Bill Parcels both having coached under the legend in Dallas together from 2003-2006. You might be wondering how you know the name and keep going back to Tony Soprano, but you might know Sparano from his time as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
Sparano was hired by Bill Parcels to be the head coach of the Dolphins in 2008 after the season before Cam Cameron led the Dolphins to a franchise worst 1-15 season. Sparano’s first season in Miami resulted in a 11-5 record and an AFC East division title. The 2009 and 2010 seasons both resulted in third place finishes in the East with a 7-9 records. Before the 2011 season, Sparano was given a two-year extension, but was fired after Week 14.
After his tenure in Miami, Sparano has been an assistant coach and position coach around the league. Sparano did get to wear the main headset for a while again in 2014 when he was the interim head coach with the Oakland Raiders starting with the team’s fifth game. Sparano led the Dolphins to a 3-9 record during his interim time.
This past season, Sparano was the tight ends coach with the San Francisco 49ers.
Some Wikipedia fun facts about Sparano: he wears the sunglasses even during times of dim lighting because of an accident that occurred when he was working at a fast food joint at the age of 17. Also, his daughter is a classically trained French pastry chef.
Sparano has been a coach at the college level or above since 1984. He is 54 years old.