Dolphins Fire Coach Tony Sparano as Chiefs Oust Haley Following Defeats

The Miami Dolphins fired coach Tony Sparano and the Kansas City Chiefs dismissed coach Todd Haley after both National Football League teams dropped out of playoff contention with losses.

Haley was let go by the Chiefs this morning, a day after the team fell to 5-8 with a 37-10 loss to the New York Jets. The Dolphins parted ways with Sparano less than 24 hours after they slipped to 4-9 with a 26-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Haley and Sparano are the second and third NFL coaches fired this season. The Jacksonville Jaguars dismissed Jack Del Rio last month.

“This was a difficult decision but one that we feel is best for the future of the Chiefs,” Chairman Clark Hunt said in a statement on the team’s website. “We have not made meaningful progress and we felt that it was necessary to make a change.”

Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, who was coach of the Cleveland Browns from 2005 to 2008, will replace Haley on an interim basis, ESPN reported. The Chiefs host the undefeated Green Bay Packers on Dec. 18.

Todd Bowles, Miami’s assistant head coach and secondary coach, will take over the team on an interim basis, Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross said during a press conference on the team’s website. The Dolphins next play at the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 18.

“It’s always a tough call when you try to replace a good man, and Tony is really an excellent man,” Ross said. “He’s put a total effort into this position, but South Florida wants a winning team. I thought this would give us the opportunity to go out and sign a head coach that could really lead us back.”

Bowles will have an opportunity to interview for the full- time head coaching job after the season, Ross said.

Losing Start

Miami began the season with seven straight losses and won four of its next five games before yesterday’s defeat to the Eagles. Sparano leaves Miami with a 29-33 record in three-plus seasons.

The Chiefs won the American Football Conference West Division title last season and were 19-27 during Haley’s three- year tenure.

In yesterday’s loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Chiefs’ frustration showed. On one drive, Kansas City amassed 81 yards in penalties, including an unsportsmanlike conduct call against Haley.

Since losing starting quarterback Matt Cassel for the season with a hand injury on Nov. 13, Kansas City has lost three of four games.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

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

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