ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have terminated head coach Tony Sparano.
“Sparano is a wonderful person and he did a wonderful job with the Miami Dolphins. I regret that it’s in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins that we replace him at this time,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross explained.
In nearly four seasons as head coach of the Dolphins, Sparano posted a record of 29-32, with one AFC East title in his first year in 2008.
Sparano was viewed by many as a “dead man walking” entering this season as Dolphins owner Stephen Ross actively pursued both Jon Gruden and Jim Harbaugh to fill Sparano’s job in the offseason. When both declined Ross’s offer, the Dolphins owner inked Sparano to a two-year extension in January and said he “was the perfect man for the job.”
Miami began the season losing their first seven games before winning four of five. Sunday’s 26-10 loss to Philadelphia was the most lopsided defeat for the team in nearly two months when they dropped a 24-6 game at New York.
“We have some things that we need to address in the immediate future & we’re going to work tirelessly to find a head coach and upgrade the roster,” Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said.
The early candidates for the Miami job are former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, former Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden and former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
“The search process will start immediately. We’ll use all the resources of this organization to undercover and find that person,” Ross explained.
Ross will be looking to make a “splash” type of hire to try and energize an apathetic fan base that struggles to purchase tickets.
“It’s a lot easier to sell tickets when you’re winning,” Ross said. “If you win, everything takes care of itself.”
Assistant head coach Todd Bowles will take over the head coaching duties in the interim.