Just a few days before rookies are supposed to report to training camp, the Vikings have announced that offensive line coach, Tony Sparano, passed away unexpectedly this morning. Sparano was just 56 years old.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) July 22, 2018
The Vikings made have made the following statement:
With deep regret the Minnesota Vikings announce that Offensive Line Coach Tony Sparano unexpectedly passed away early this morning.
“Our hearts go out to Jeanette and the entire Sparano family as we all mourn the loss of Tony. Tony was a passionate and driven individual who cared deeply about his family, and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Tony’s presence within the Vikings organization will be deeply missed. We are only thinking of Tony’s family during this incredibly difficult time. We ask that the entire NFL and Vikings family keep the Sparanos in their thoughts.” – Vikings Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf
Sparano began his NFL coaching career in 1999 with stints as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. Tony served as the Vikings offensive line coach since 2016. Tony played collegiately at the University of New Haven where he was a four-year letterman. Sparano was named New Haven’s head coach in 1994 and held the position for five seasons.
Tony is survived by his wife, Jeanette, his two sons; Tony and Andrew, his daughter, Ryan Leigh, and four grandchildren. Sparano was born October 7, 1961. He was 56 years old.
The Sparano family requests privacy at this time. The Vikings will provide further updates when appropriate.
Sparano spent 19 years and coached 9 teams at the NFL level, spending time with 9 teams, coaching offenisve line, tight ends, and eventually getting a chance at being a Head Coach with the Miami Dolphins from 2008-11.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sparano family during this difficult time.