Tony Sparano Fired

December 12, 2011 by staff 

Tony Sparano Fired, The Dolphins plan to announce at a 4:15 p.m. news conference that Tony Sparano is being replaced as the team’s coach, sources said Monday.

The team declined to confirm that or elaborate on what will be announced. But replacing Sparano now will give the team a jump on its search for its next head coach. Defensive backs coach Todd Bowles will take over as the interim coach.

Sources close to the situation reiterated that owner Stephen Ross would like to hire a big name coach, a proven winner who would get fans excited. If he cannot — if he has to settle for a lower profile coach — then there is sentiment internally toward hiring an offensive-minded coach with a record of success developing quarterbacks.

But the priority is hiring a star coach, regardless of what side of the ball is his specialty. And money will not be an impediment, an associate said.

Though Bill Cowher said Oct. 30 on CBS that he does not plan to coach next season, the Dolphins are not convinced that he’s adamant about that and are expected to contact him once the job is open, according to an associate of Ross.

If Cowher declines Miami’s overtures, Ross is expected to turn his attention to ESPNanlyst Jon Gruden, former Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher and former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick. Gruden won a Super Bowl in Tampa, Billick won one in Baltimore and Fisher lost one with Tennessee.

Philadelphia’s Andy Reid likely would be considered if he and the Eagles surprisingly part ways. Giants coach Tom Coughlin also could become available if New York misses the playoffs, though it’s unclear if Miami would have interest.

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