The Minnesota Vikings announced Sunday morning that veteran offensive line coach Tony Sparano died early Sunday morning at the age of 56. He is reported to have been hospitalized due to chest pains in the days prior to his death.
“Our hearts go out to Jeanette and the entire Sparano family as we all mourn the loss of Tony. Tony was a passionate and driven individual who cared deeply about his family, and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Tony’s presence within the Vikings organization will be deeply missed. We are only thinking of Tony’s family during this incredibly difficult time. We ask that the entire NFL and Vikings family keep the Sparanos in their thoughts,” Vikings Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said in a statement.
Sparano first began his NFL coaching career in 1999 with the Cleveland Browns as an offensive quality control coach and had been the Vikings offensive line coach since 2016. Sparano held coaching positions with the Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, Cowboys, Dolphins, Jets, Raiders, 49ers, and Vikings over his career, including two head coaching stints with the Dolphins and Raiders. As a head coach, Sparano’s teams went 32-42, including a playoff appearance in 2008 with the Dolphins in his first season in Miami.
Sparano is survived by his wife Jeanette, three children Tony, Andrew, and Ryan Leigh and four grandchildren.