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Former Raiders head coach Tony Sparano dies at age of 56

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Tony Sparano

Tragic news today. Tony Sparano has passed. The Minnesota Vikings, with whom Sparano was the offensive line coach, announced Sparano’s death today. He was just 56 years of age. No cause of death has been made known at this time.

Sparano spent five years with the Raiders, first as offensive line coach, and then as interim head coach after the firing of Dennis Allen.

Sparano had the interim head coach position for 12 games in Oakland in the 2014 season. It was Derek Carr’s rookie season with the team. After starting with an 0-6 record, Sparano won his first game as Raiders head coach against the Kansas City Chiefs, and went 3-3 over the final six games that year. After the season he was replaced by Jack Del Rio.

In total, Sparano was a coach in the NFL ranks for 19 years, five of which as a head coach. He was the head coach of the Dolphins for four years from 2008-11.

Sparano was beloved by his players and coaches. He is survived by his wife, Jeanette, his two sons; Tony and Andrew, his daughter, Ryan Leigh, and four grandchildren.