Rumors were spiraling this morning that Tony Sparano’s fate was sealed as head coach with the Miami Dolphins, but the team isn’t taking any time to make it official. According to The Miami Herald, the team will officially announce his termination this afternoon. Defensive backs coach Todd Bowles will be named interim coach for the rest of the season.
Sparano was brought in as head coach by former VP for football operations Bill Parcells in 2008. He found initial success thanks to the surprise of the Wild Cat formation and a lost season from Patriots QB Tom Brady, and the team won their first division championship since 2000 and made their first playoff appearance since 2001.
Though, Sparano’s never managed to improve on that initial season. His overall record with the Miami Dolphins, his only experience as a pro head coach, was a painfully mediocre 29-33.
The Herald, naturally, reports that owner Stephen Ross would like to hire a big name head coach to replace Sparano. Bill Cowher is reportedly the top target despite saying he doesn’t plan on returning to coaching.
To commemorate Sparano’s legacy, Riptide plans to honor him with a 21 field goal salute.
Update: During the press conference Ross repeatedly called Sparano a “good man,” but says he’s looking for “a young Don Shula.” General manager Jeff Ireland’s job is safe.
Source: Miami New Times