Raiders hire Tony Sparano

Raiders hire Tony Sparano
January 23, 2013, 11:15 am
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Tony Sparano was the head coach of the Dolphins from 2008-2011 where he lead Miami to a 29-32 overall record. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Raiders announced Wednesday afternoon the hiring of Tony Sparano as assistant head coach/offensive line, the third hiring on coach Dennis Allen's staff since Saturday.

Sparano, who has been a head coach of the Miami Dolphins and an offensive coordinator with the New York Jets, will not, though, begin his duties with Oakland until next week as the Raiders are coaching the North side in the Senior Bowl here.

In Miami, Sparano used the "Wildcat" package on offense, which might make use of running back Darren McFadden's talents, as well as those of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

On Saturday, the Raiders announced the hirings of Greg Olson as offensive coordinator and Bobby April as special teams coordinator, both of whom did Q&A's with CSNBayArea.com this week.

[RELATED: Q&A with Raiders special teams coordinator Bobby April

The Sparano hiring leaves only one vacancy on the Raiders staff -- linebackers coach.

Following is the rest of the Raiders release announcing the hiring:

Sparano, who in 2013 enters his 30th year in coaching, has nine combined seasons as a head coach, four (2008-11) at the reins of the Miami Dolphins and five (1994-98) at the University of New Haven.

Prior to his season with the Jets in 2012, Sparano compiled some impressive accomplishments in his first season as Dolphins head coach, a position he held from 2008-11. In ’08, he steered Miami to the greatest year-to-year improvement in NFL history, a 10-game difference as the Dolphins earned the AFC East crown with an 11-5 record, before losing in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Sparano finished one vote shy of winning the Associated Press Coach of the Year. His career record as an NFL head coach is 29-33.

Sparano helped the Cowboys to three playoff appearances and four winning seasons in five years (2003-07) on the Dallas staff, including four under head coach Bill Parcells. Sparano tutored the tight ends from 2003-04, then served as offensive line coach/running-game coordinator from 2005-06, before shifting to assistant head coach/offensive line in 2007.

Prior to two one-year stops as a tight ends coach, with Marty Schottenheimer’s Redskins in 2001 and Tom Coughlin’s Jaguars in 2002, Sparano helped launch the expansion Cleveland Browns. In 1999, Cleveland’s first year back in the NFL, Sparano was an offensive quality-control coach. He spent 2000 in charge of the Browns’ offensive line.

Sparano made the jump to the NFL after five years as head coach (1994-98) of his alma mater, Division II New Haven, where he guided the Chargers to a pair of NCAA playoff berths. In 1997, his 12-2 club led the country in scoring offense (42.8 points per contest) and ranked second in scoring defense (11.6) before it lost in the national championship.

He spent the previous six seasons (1988-93) at Division I-AA Boston University, coaching the Terriers’ offensive linemen from 1988-89 before serving as offensive coordinator from 1990-93.

A native of West Haven, Conn., Sparano launched his coaching career at New Haven, a four-year stint (1984-87) as offensive line coach, after completing his college playing days at the school, as the team’s center.

He and his wife, Jeanette, have three children, sons Tony and Andrew, who each played football at Albany, and daughter Ryan Leigh.

Tony Sparano coaching history 

Years               College/Pro Team                               Position Coached

1984-87          New Haven                                            Offensive Line
1988                 Boston University                                Offensive Line
1989                 Boston University                                Offensive Coordinator
1994-98          New Haven                                            Head Coach
1999                 Cleveland Browns                                Offensive Quality Control
2000                 Cleveland Browns                                Offensive Line
2001                 Washington Redskins                         Tight Ends
2002                 Jacksonville Jaguars                            Tight Ends
2003-04          Dallas Cowboys                                     Tight Ends
2005-06          Dallas Cowboys                                     Offensive Line/Running Game Coordinator
2007                 Dallas Cowboys                                     Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
2008-11          Miami Dolphins                                     Head Coach
2012                 New York Jets                                       Offensive Coordinator
2013                 Oakland Raiders                                   Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line

Oakland Raiders media services contributed to this report