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Vikings offensive line coach Sparano died of heart disease

July 23, 2018 GMT
FILE - This May 5, 2016 file photo shows Tony Sparano of the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team. Sparano has died at the age of 56. The Vikings say he died early Sunday, July 22, 2018 but did not give a cause of death. He had been the Vikings' offensive line coach since 2016. Sparano began his NFL coaching career in 1999 and had stints as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. (AP Photo)
FILE - This May 5, 2016 file photo shows Tony Sparano of the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team. Sparano has died at the age of 56. The Vikings say he died early Sunday, July 22, 2018 but did not give a cause of death. He had been the Vikings' offensive line coach since 2016. Sparano began his NFL coaching career in 1999 and had stints as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. (AP Photo)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A county medical examiner says Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano died of heart disease.

The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said Monday that the 56-year-old Sparano died of arteriosclerotic heart disease, or hardening of the arteries. The manner of death is listed as natural.

Sparano died Sunday in Eden Prairie, a Minneapolis suburb. He had been the Vikings’ offensive line coach since 2016.

Sparano began his NFL coaching career in 1999 and had stints as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders.

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He was the Dolphins’ head coach from 2008-11 and went 29-32. He went 11-5 and won the AFC East in his first season with Miami.

Sparano also spent time with the Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, Cowboys and 49ers.

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