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Vikings OL coach Sparano died of heart disease.

Hennepin County medical examiner rules death was due to natural causes.

Posted: Jul. 22, 2018 7:24 PM
Updated: Jul. 23, 2018 8:25 PM

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.

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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