July 23, 2018 06:05 AM
Players, former players and teams from across the National Football League are taking to social media to remember Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano who died unexpectedly Sunday at his home days before the start of training camp. He was 56 years old.
KSTP sources confirmed Sparano's death Sunday shortly before the team's announcement, "With deep regret the Minnesota Vikings announce that Offensive Line Coach Tony Sparano unexpectedly passed away early this morning."
Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf issued a statement as well saying:
Our hearts go out to Jeanette and the entire Sparano family as we all mourn the loss of Tony. Tony was a passionate and driven individual who cared deeply about his family, and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Tony's presence within the Vikings organization will be deeply missed. We are only thinking of Tony’s family during this incredibly difficult time. We ask that the entire NFL and Vikings family keep the Sparanos in their thoughts.
Coach Zimmer on the passing of Tony Sparano pic.twitter.com/YPG2biZPEG— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) July 22, 2018
Sparano joined the Vikings in 2016, but he has an extensive coaching experience, including stops as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2008 to 2011 and was interim head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2014.
Check out posts from around the league below:
Really tough to see this, so much respect for this guy, great coach and great person! You will be missed by so many, thoughts and prayers to your family! RIP Coach https://t.co/cTFqtglDcD— Adam Thielen (@athielen19) July 22, 2018
I am in disbelief - condolences to his wife Jeanette and three children. https://t.co/h6XczHiAuT— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) July 22, 2018
Sporano Family I am so sorry for your loss. Coach believed in me, trusted me, and stuck with me as a rookie. He would check on my family every HC and QB meeting we would have! He was a great man! I love you coach!— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) July 22, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Coach Tony Sparano. pic.twitter.com/UVxieE1Q6U— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 22, 2018
Beyond shocked to hear the news of Tony Sparano passing away. Heartfelt thoughts to him and his family & friends. #Vikings— Ben Leber (@nacholeber) July 22, 2018
Aw man. Rest In Peace, Coach Sparano. Terrible news.— Johnny Stanton (@johnnystantoniv) July 22, 2018
Rest In Peace Coach Sparano. I really can’t believe the news. A great coach and even better person. My condolences go out to the Sparano family. I think I speak for everyone when I say this season is for you!— Kyle Sloter (@KyleSloter) July 22, 2018
Rest In Peace coach. ???? https://t.co/B0GWSOXvy1— LEEL. (@leellxvii) July 22, 2018
Damn I’m at a loss for words RIP coach Sparano taught me so much not just about football about life also one of the biggest reasons why I signed with the @RAIDERS was because of you coach thanks for everything love you coach RIP— Donald Penn (@DPENN70) July 22, 2018
Man, when it rains it pours. Rest In Peace coach Sparano. Prayers going to your family and friends and our Viking organization. Lost 4 coaches in the past 2 months. Wishing I was able to reverse time and tell not just these people but everyone that’s import to me I appreciate you— Tashawn Bower (@TashawnBower) July 22, 2018
Prayers for the Sparano family upon hearing of the loss Coach Sparano. Spent the 2017 training camp with him and the @Vikings Learned a lot from him in such a short period of time....RIP. #OLinePride #OLine pic.twitter.com/8GRCc2TfN8— Kevin Mawae (@KevinMawae) July 22, 2018
Man... I’m in total shock. RIP Tony Sparano. Hell of a coach and person. Had so much love for the game and the people around him. He will be truly missed by many people.— Brandon Fusco (@BrandonFusco) July 22, 2018
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Updated: July 23, 2018 06:05 AM
Created: July 22, 2018 01:25 PM
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