Tony Sparano hired as Miami's new coach
The Dolphins have offered Sparano the job left vacant when Cam Cameron was fired. The sides have ironed out details of a contract whose terms are still unavailable. A noon press conference has been called to present Sparano.
Club owner Wayne Huizenga, who officially offered Sparano the job, left the team's practice facility at 9:40 a.m.
How's that for anti-climax?
Sparano endured a breakneck day Tuesday. He finished up some Cowboys business at the team's Valley Ranch facility early in the day, rushed home to change and pick up his wife, then met Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, got on one of Huizenga's jets to South Florida, boarded an Aventura Limosine Denali upon touchdown, was escorted to dinner at Grille 66 on the Fort Lauderdale intracoastal, met Huizenga and other Miami brass for the first time, was escorted back to a local Renaissance Hotel where he is staying, and got tucked in by Bill Parcells himself.
Just kidding on the last one there.
But while Parcells didn't tuck in Sparano, he will pretty much be one of the first faces the coach sees every morning. Parcells typically gets to work around 7ish. And if he's starting around that time, everyone, including Sparano, is also.
Today Sparano and Ireland arrived at the team facility around 8 a.m. Parcells was already at work. Huizenga arrived at 8:45 -- he's allowed to show up whenever he freakin' wants because he owns the joint.
One of the items on the agenda today is Sparano meeting with Ireland and Parcells about the formation of a coaching staff. Dallas assistants Paul Pasqualoni (linebackers in Dallas, possible defensive coordinator in Miami), Todd Bowles (secondary coach in Dallas and possibly handling the same duties in Miami with assistant head coach title) and Kacy Rodgers (defensive line in Dallas) are no longer under contract to the Cowboys. So Sparano must share his feelings about working with those guys and others.
Sparano also has to get caught up on Miami's current sad talent state and give his take on the subject -- based presumably on his study of the Dolphins from afar.
As I reported yesterday, agent Jimmy Sexton, who represents Parcells as well as Sparano, has been doing his homework. He has gotten a feel for the contracts signed last year by first-time NFL coach Lane Kiffin, Mike Tomlin and even Cameron and will negotiate based on those deals for his client who is also a first time NFL head coach.
Sparano likely has signed a four-year deal based on the fact that is a typical length in the NFL these days and it parallels the four-year deal Parcells signed. Sparano is, in all likelihood, getting a deal worth between $2-2.7 million per season.
It has been widely reported that the Dolphins were close to signing Sparano and there was even one report a few weeks ago that he had been offered the job. That was not the case. While Sparano was always the undisputed front-runner, with no real candidate coming close, the Dolphins have pretty much played this one by the book.
This team is, shall we say, obsessive about doing things according to NFL guidelines. And the guidelines demand several things: Under NFL mandate, the team owner must be a significant part of the process to pick a coach and the Dolphins had not met that requirement until Tuesday when Huizenga met Sparano for the first time.
Also the team would not break NFL rules prohibiting the hiring of a coach before his team was eliminated from the playoffs and requiring that a minority candidate be interviewed, known as Rooney Rule.
Anyway, all of those benchmarks have been passed now. The next sound you hear will be Tony Sparano being introduced at that noon press conference.