Most Read: Sports
The Early Lead
Posted at 04:26 PM ET, 12/12/2011

Dolphins fire Tony Sparano

The Dolphins have stripped Tony Sparano of his headset and head coaching duties. (Tom Pennington - Getty Images)
Tony Sparano hung on a lot longer than many thought he would.

An 0-4 start to the season led to much speculation that Sparano would be axed during the Miami Dolphins’ Week 5 bye. But after falling to 0-7, the team won four of five and nearly knocked off Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Sunday’s 26-10 home loss to Philadelphia guaranteed the ‘Fins their third consecutive losing season and proved to be the nail in Sparano’s coffin.

Quoting a league source,’s Michael Lombardi reports the Dolphins have fired their head coach.

Miami secondary coach Todd Bowles will take over as interim coach for the final three weeks of the season.

The news of Sparano’s ouster broke just hours after the Kansas City Chiefs fired head coach Todd Haley.

Sparano turned a 1-15 squad into an 11-5 playoff team his first season in South Beach, but the Dolphins went 7-9 in each of the last two seasons and missed the playoffs.

Meantime, general manager Jeff Ireland, also rumored to be on the hot seat, is expected to stick around, according to the Miami Herald.

As for who the Dolphins are targetting as next head coach, owner Stephen Ross hinted what he’s looking for during Monday’s press conference.

“I’d like to find a young Don Shula, if that’s possible.”

By  |  04:26 PM ET, 12/12/2011

Categories:  The Early Lead

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company