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Dolphins Give Sparano Two-Year Contract Extension, Owner Says

Coach Tony Sparano, who watched a possible replacement being interviewed, was given a two-year extension by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

“If you look at his record over the first three years and you look at the other great coaches, he’s as good if not better than most of those great coaches who have had a lot of longevity with their teams and that’s what I’m hoping for with the Miami Dolphins,” Ross said yesterday during a news conference.

The Dolphins ended the 2010 season at 7-9 for the second straight year. The team finished 11-5 under Sparano in 2008, and won the American Football Conference East for the first time since 2000. Sparano’s three-year record is 25-23. His original contract ran through the 2011 season.

“The contract extension means a lot to me personally because it shows the commitment that Mr. Ross does have and the confidence that he and (General Manager) Jeff (Ireland) have in me,” Sparano said.

Stanford University head coach Jim Harbaugh, who accepted the coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers, was interviewed by Ross before he decided to extend Sparano’s contract.

After meeting with Harbaugh, Ross said he told Sparano that “he was my man. You just don’t make change for the sake of change because things aren’t going the right way.”

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