The Minnesota Vikings have named Tony Sparano Offensive Line Coach. Sparano, a former NFL head coach, enters his 18th season in the league and 32nd season in coaching at the collegiate and pro ranks.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Sparano coached together in Dallas from 2003-06 under Bill Parcells.
Sparano joins the Vikings having previously served as tight ends coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, following a stint as the assistant head coach/offensive line coach for the Oakland Raiders prior to being named the Raiders interim head coach early in the 2014 season.
In 2013, Sparano served as Oakland’s assistant head coach/offensive line coach and tutored a shuffling unit that paved the way for four different players to rush for 100 yards in a game, becoming the first team to achieve the feat since 1978 (Kansas City Chiefs – five players). Sparano elevated the run game to new heights in his first season, raising the rushing yards per game average from 88.8 (2012) to 125.0 (2013).
Prior to joining the Raiders, Sparano served as offensive coordinator for the New York Jets in 2012, following a four-year stint as head coach of the Miami Dolphins (2008-11).
From 2008-10, Miami posted a 15-9 record on the road, which was tied for the third-best road record over that span. Sparano guided the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and the AFC East title, following a dismal 1-15 season in 2007. His 10-game improvement earned him 2008 NFL Coach of the Year honors by the NFL Alumni and the Pro Football Weekly/Professional Football Writers of America and is tied for the largest single-season improvement in wins in NFL history (Indianapolis Colts – 1998-99).[Source: Minnesota Vikings press release]