Miami Dolphins At 50: Coaches

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No. 4 – Tony Sparano

After the nightmare that was Cam Cameron’s only year as coach, Tony Sparano was hired by new football czar Bill Parcells.

For one glorious year, things turned around.

After going 1-15 under Cameron, Sparano guided the team to an 11-5 record and the franchise’s first divisional title since 2000.

What made it all the sweeter was the Dolphins beat Brett Favre and the New York Jets on the last day of the season to make it happen.

But then reality set in. Chad Pennington couldn’t stay healthy after his MVP caliber 2008 season and was replaced by Chad Henne who would look amazing one week and terrible for the next four games.

Parcells flew the coup and handed the keys to “he who shall not be named.”

Meanwhile the Wildcat, the formation that essentially carried the Dolphins into the 2008 postseason, was immediately figured out by opposing defenses then wilted and died.

As a result, the team went 7-9 in back-to-back seasons before a 4-9 start in 2011 cost Sparano his job.

However, Sparano was put into a losing position in 2011 when owner Stephen Ross courted then-Stanford University  head football coach Jim Harbaugh while Sparano was still under contract. Harbaugh turned down the job. Sparano stayed on, but the writing was on the wall and it said “get out.”