Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano has died, the team announced Sunday.
According to the team, Sparano's passing was "unexpected" and occurred early Sunday morning.
“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,” owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said in a statement.
According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Sparano complained of chest pains Friday and went to the hospital, but he was released. He and his wife were getting ready for church Sunday morning when she found him unconcscious in their kitchen.
1/2 More details on tragic passing of Vikings’ OL coach Tony Sparano, via @mortreport. Sparano complained about chest pains this weekend and went to hospital Thursday. Doctors did tests, but released him Friday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 22, 2018
2/2 Tony Sparano and his wife, Jeannette, were about to leave for church this morning when she found him unconscious in their kitchen. She tried CPR, but he could not be revived. He was 56.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 22, 2018
Sparano, 56, had been with the Vikings since 2016 under Mike Zimmer.
He served as Dolphins head coach from 2008-11, posting a 29-32 record, and was the interim Raiders head coach in 2014, going 3-9.
Sparano also coached with the Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, Cowboys, Jets and 49ers throughout his 20-year NFL career.
Before he broke into the professional ranks, Sparano spent six seasons at Boston College as the offensive line coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator.
He returned to his alma mater New Haven in 1994 as the team's head coach and boasted a 41-14 record in five seasons before moving on with the Browns.
Sparano is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren.
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