Dolphins End Talks With Harbaugh, to Keep Sparano as Coach, ESPN Reports

The Miami Dolphins will keep Tony Sparano as their coach after meeting with Stanford University’s Jim Harbaugh, ESPN reported, citing a person it didn’t identify.

The decision came after Dolphins owner Stephen Ross met early yesterday with Harbaugh and again last night with Harbaugh’s agent, Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN said on its website. Miami had been willing to make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in the National Football League, a figure that would place his salary as high as $8 million, ESPN said.

Sparano led Miami to its second-straight 7-9 season, missing the playoffs that begin tomorrow. In three seasons with the team, he has a 25-23 record.

Harbaugh led the Cardinal (12-1) to a 40-12 win over Virginia Tech on Jan. 3 in the Orange Bowl. He’s also being courted by the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos and has received an amended offer to stay at Stanford, ESPN said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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