Dolphins fire Tony Sparano as coach

By Steven Wine

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Dec. 12 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, left, and Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano shake hands after the Eagles defeated the Dolphins 26-10 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Miami.

Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

MIAMI — Tony Sparano has been fired as coach of the Miami Dolphins, the third dismissal of an NFL coach in the past two weeks.

The move came Monday, one day after the Dolphins lost to the Philadelphia Eagles to fall to 4-9. The defeat ended a recent surge by the Dolphins after they lost their first seven games.

With two other teams already in the market for a new coach, owner Stephen Ross apparently didn't want to wait any longer to start shopping.

Sparano's dismissal came hours after the Kansas City Chiefs fired coach Todd Haley. Jacksonville fired coach Jack Del Rio on Nov. 29.

The Dolphins are assured of their third consecutive losing season, the team's longest such streak since the 1960s.

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