Dolphins fire Tony Sparano

Posted Dec 12, 2011
Aaron Wilson

The Miami Dolphins have fired head coach Tony Sparano and replaced him with Todd Bowles as interim coach, the defensive coordinator.

“This was a very difficult decision, but I believe it is in the best interests of the Miami Dolphin organization to make this change at this point in time,” Dolphins owner Steve Ross said. “The current situation was not fair to both Tony and the team. It was a distraction to everyone and put them all in a very difficult situation. We need to start the process right now to begin the steps needed to return the Dolphins back to one of the elite teams in the NFL.

“I want to thank Tony and his wife Jeanette. You could not ask to know two finer individuals. They were pillars of this community and gave tirelessly of themselves to help so many people in South Florida. And I especially appreciate Tony’s dedication, integrity and contributions to the Dolphins. He worked tirelessly to build the team into a winner. I thank him for all he has done on behalf of the organization and wish him the best of success in the future."

Ross expressed confidence in Bowles.

I know that Todd will do an outstanding job, he is respected by the players and by everyone in the Dolphin organization," Ross said. "I am confident that Todd, the rest of the coaching staff and the players will continue to show the same dedication and work ethic they have displayed all year to finish the season strongly.

“We will implement a search process that is thorough, that is designed to produce the best possible candidate, that will be fully compliant with appropriate guidelines and that will be carried out with integrity. Jeff Ireland and I will use all the resources of the organization to help identify and research viable candidates to select the best possible individual as the next head coach of the Miami Dolphins.”

Bowles previously served as the assistant head coach/secondary for the past four seasons, having been named to the position on January 23, 2008.

Prior to joining the Dolphins he had spent the previous three years as the secondary coach with the Dallas Cowboys.

During his third season with the Dolphins, Bowles led a secondary that ranked eighth in the NFL against the pass. He tutored a young unit with three starters from the team’s 2009 draft class in cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, and safety Chris Clemons. The other starting safety, Yeremiah Bell represented the AFC in the 2010 Pro Bowl.

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