Vikings Coach Tony Sparano Dies. Here’s What We Know
Minnesota Vikings coach Tony Sparano passed away in the early Sunday morning hours at the age of 56.
Sparano, who began coaching in the NFL in 1999, was found by his wife wile she was getting ready to attend church, according to ESPN. The official cause of death isn’t known yet, but ESPN also reported he went to the hospital a few days ago because of chest pains.
Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf released the following statement on Sparano’s death:
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.
The sports world was also extremely quick to react to Sparano’s death.
Devastated to hear the news about Coach Sparano passing. Praying for his family through this tough time.
— Kirk Cousins (@KirkCousins8) 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
— Jake Long (@JakeLong77) July 22, 2018
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) July 22, 2018
I’m still In shock about the passing of Tony Sparano! He was a players coach everybody loved him, he gave me a chance to come to Miami and show that I could be an every down running back when not many people believed in me! He will be missed but not forgotten! Love you coach RIP
— Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) July 22, 2018
We are saddened to hear the passing of Coach Tony Sparano. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.
Rest In Peace Coach Sparano pic.twitter.com/r5BErskh4m
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) July 22, 2018
Sending our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Coach Tony Sparano.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) July 22, 2018
— Brian Hartline (@brianhartline) July 22, 2018
Sparano’s passing is just another example of how short and special life is. He was only a few weeks away from the season beginning, and now he’s no longer with us. Life can be a hell of a thing at times.
I have no idea what the Vikings will do or how they will handle a coach dying so shortly before the season begins. It’s an unbelievable tragic situation for his family, his team and his friends. Men aren’t supposed to die when they’re 56. It’s way too young. (RELATED: NFL Legend Jim Kelly Gives An Emotional Must-Watch Speech About His Life [VIDEO])
The Smoke Room’s thoughts and prayers are with the entire Vikings organization and the NFL. It’s times like this that the sports world always puts aside personal rivalries and comes together. I have no doubt the league will do everything in its power to help the Vikings and everybody involved in this situation.