Sparano gets two-year extension

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 1:51 PM ET

Davie, FL - The Miami Dolphins have given head coach Tony Sparano a two-year contract extension.

The deal was designed to "maintain stability" for the organization, according to the team's website, and will keep him with the Dolphins through the end of 2013. Sparano's original four-year deal was set to expire after next season.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that Sparano's $2.8 million salary is believed to remain in the same range. He will also have an "expanded role" in player personnel decisions.

This all comes after the Dolphins went 7-9 for a second straight year and reportedly met with, and offered the job to, then-Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh was announced as the 49ers' head coach Friday.

"I realized, after reading everything, the anguish I put Tony through," owner Steve Ross said to the team's website. "This was my first interview and I didn't realize this would be national news. I should have let Tony know and not [think] this would be so public.

"The problems we have are all fixable," Ross continued. "We've got a coach whose players love him and love to play for him. Other coaches have longevity with their teams and that's what I want with the Miami Dolphins."

Despite missing out on the postseason again, the club has undergone a remarkable turnaround under its current head coach.

Under Cam Cameron, Miami went 1-15 in 2007 and promptly turned to Sparano, who led the club to an 11-5 record the next season and an unlikely AFC East title, ending the franchise's six-year playoff drought.

The Dolphins were in contention for the playoffs the past two seasons but lost their final three games both times.

"I believe Tony Sparano is the right coach for this football team," general manager Jeff Ireland said, according to the team's Twitter account. "I always thought that and that has never changed."

Prior to being hired by the Dolphins, Sparano had a five-year stint as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys. He was also an assistant with the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars, and was a head coach on the collegiate level with Division II New Haven from 1994-98.


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