|Tony Sparano arrives in South Florida for 2nd interview with Dolphins|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 16 January 2008 05:04|
The Dallas Cowboys assistant head coach was accompanied by new Miami general manager Jeff Ireland. Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga soon joined them, then left about an hour later.
``Stay tuned,'' Huizenga said from his car as he pulled out of the parking lot. Asked if the Dolphins had reached an agreement with Sparano, Huizenga said, ``Not yet.''
Sparano was also expected to meet with new Dolphins boss Bill Parcells. A deal was considered likely before the end of the day, making Sparano the Dolphins' fifth coach since 2004.
Sparano, 46, became available for hire when the Cowboys lost their playoff game Sunday to the New York Giants. He has been the front-runner for the Dolphins job since they fired Cam Cameron after he went 1-15 in his first year as an NFL head coach.
Ireland interviewed Sparano in Dallas on Jan. 5. They worked together with the Cowboys, where Parcells was head coach from 2003-06.
Sparano arrived Tuesday evening in South Florida aboard a jet owned by Huizenga for a second interview. The coach then went to dinner with a group that included Huizenga, Parcells and Ireland.
The Dolphins earlier interviewed Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. But none of them has direct ties to Ireland or Parcells, and Ireland has said it's important that he and Parcells be familiar with the new coach.
Sparano also interviewed for head jobs with the Ravens and Atlanta Falcons.
The Dolphins have repeatedly tapped the Dallas pipeline since the arrival of Parcells. Former Dallas assistant David Lee was hired as quarterbacks coach, and on Tuesday, Brian Gaine was hired as assistant director of player personnel after three years as the Cowboys' assistant director of pro scouting.
Sparano joined Parcells in Dallas in 2003 as tight ends coach, became offensive line coach in 2005 and called plays for Parcells in 2006. He was promoted to assistant head coach last February.
His only head coaching experience was at New Haven in 1994-98.
Miami's search has been much less extensive than a year ago, when at least a dozen coaches were interviewed and Huizenga traveled as far as Costa Rica to meet with potential candidates.
The Dolphins are coming off the worst season in team history. They lost their first 13 games and missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year, extending a franchise record.