Dolphins hire Sparano as head coach, replacing Cameron
By Len Pasquarelli
Updated: January 16, 2008, 10:47 AM ET
Dallas Cowboys assistant head coach Tony Sparano is the new Miami Dolphins head coach.
A four-year deal was completed Wednesday morning. Financial terms are not known yet.
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, who most recently worked in the Cowboys personnel department as vice president of college and pro scouting, is familiar with Sparano and his coaching style. And Dolphins vice president of football operations Bill Parcells hired Sparano as an assistant when Parcells was the Cowboys' coach.
Tabbed as the favorite almost immediately after Parcells dismissed Cam Cameron after only one season on the job, Sparano was one of four candidates to have interviewed with Miami officials. The club also met with defensive coordinators Leslie Frazier of Minnesota and Jim Schwartz of Tennessee, and former Baltimore defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
Sparano, 46, also interviewed for the head coach openings in Atlanta and Baltimore.
Although he has worked in the league only nine seasons, Sparano is widely respected for his offensive acumen and his demeanor with the players. Before joining the Dallas staff in 2003, Sparano was on the staffs of Cleveland (1999-2000), Washington (2001), and Jacksonville (2002).
Before landing his first NFL position, Sparano worked 15 years in the college ranks and was head coach at New Haven from 1994 to 1998.
He worked primarily with the Cowboys' offensive line this season. But when Parcells was the coach, Sparano had much broader responsibilities. Although he didn't hold the title of coordinator, Sparano called the team's plays in 2006. Parcells is known to hold Sparano in high regard.