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Tony Sparano is out as Miami Dolphins head coach

December 12, 2011 |  1:57 pm

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Tony Sparano has been fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Assistant head coach/secondary Todd Bowles will serve as interim coach.

The move makes Sparano the third NFL head coach to lose his job this year -- and the second in a matter of hours. Earlier on Monday, Todd Haley was relieved of his duties by the Kansas City Chiefs. Jack Del Rio was dismissed by the Jacksonville Jaguars late last month.

Sparano, who was informed of the decision Monday afternoon, leaves the Dolphins with an overall record of 29-32. His tenure started impressively in 2008, with an 11-5 record and an AFC East title. But that was followed with back-to-back 7-9 seasons and an 0-7 start to this season.

The Dolphins had won four of their last five games before a 26-10 loss Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles dropped them to 4-9 and led to speculation that Sparano would not return as coach next season.

“I want to coach against the Buffalo Bills this week," he said after Sunday's game. "That's my sole focus.”

Overall, the players had been supportive of their coach, although receiver Brandon Marshall said the blame went all around after Sunday's loss.

“Comes a time where we have to prepare better as far as putting guys in position, and guys being ready when they're in that position to make a play,” Marshall said. “Hopefully this week things will be a little bit different.”

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-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Tony Sparano. Credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images

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