The Dolphins couldn’t beat out the 49ers for Jim Harbaugh, so they’re sticking with Tony Sparano as head coach. In addition to retaining him, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Sparano’s contract has been extended through 2013.
The deal is not expected to include a large increase from Sparano’s previous salaries, which were in the $2.8 million range. Instead, Sparano will reportedly receive an “expanded role” in player personnel decisions, which coupled with the extension represents owner Stephen Ross’ apology to Sparano for trying to replace him all week.
Sparano was previously under contract through only 2011, so without the new years he would’ve been the lamest-duck coach in the league next season, assuming there’s NFL football.
Dolphins G.M. Jeff Ireland, who like Ross turned his back on Sparano — but arguably to a greater extent considering their roots in Dallas — will still have “final say” over personnel. So outside of what seems to be increased long-term job security, the Dolphins’ head coach will probably end up gaining very little ground within the organization.
But at least he’s not job hunting for line coach positions.