The Miami Dolphins Coaching Staff Cocktail: Jerry Jones with a Twist
My brother went to a St. Louis Cardinals spring training game in 2007 after Nick Saban's dramatic departure from the Miami Dolphins, and Bill Parcells resignation from the Dallas Cowboys.
He grabbed a beer and began surveying the field from his front row seat.
About 20 feet in front of him was "The Tuna" himself, chatting it up with his buddy, Cardinals coach Tony La Russa.
As the stands filled up, my brother yelled at the top of his lungs, "Hey Bill, why don't you come down and coach the Dolphins? We need you!"
Parcells turned around, chuckled, shook his head and shouted back, "No way!"
Well, it took another season, but Parcells did come to Miami, although not in the capacity my brother had hoped for.
As the executive VP, the Miami Dolphins "godfather" reports directly to owner Stephen Ross and is responsible for bringing his disciple Tony Sparano on board as head coach.
My brother still claims he is the reason Parcells came to Miami.
Here's the other playmakers responsible for bringing the best of Dolphins football to Miami and it's fans.
Hired by Bill Parcells as head coach in January 2008, Tony Sparano has served under an impressive list of head coaches like Marty Schottenheimer and Tom Coughlin.
But it was four seasons with Parcells at the Cowboys where he really honed his coaching technique.
In just his first season as head coach he famously led the Dolphins to an 11-5 record, tying an NFL record for winning 10 more games that the previous season.
Sparano is featured in pop culture because his name so closely resembles one of the most famous fictional mobsters of all time, Tony Soprano from HBO's hit The Sopranos.
ESPN even did a spoof on The Sopranos infamous final scene with Sparano, featuring athletes like Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Sopranos actors.
Fun Fact: Sparano was a four year starting center for the Division II University of New Haven Chargers before graduating in 1986.
Todd Bowles also worked for the Cowboys under Parcells as the Cowboys secondary coach for three seasons.
The Dolphins Assistant Head Coach uses the same discipline as Parcells and Sparano and it is rumored that Sparano pursued Bowles at 12:01 a.m, just one minute after his Cowboys contract expired.
Fun Fact: Bowles has a Super Bowl ring that he won with the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII, following the 1987 season.
Another member of what we now just call the Florida Cowboys, Paul Pasqualoni also packed his swim trunks and followed Sparano and Bowles to the Sunshine State to serve as the defensive coordinator.
Sparano is quoted to have said that Pasqualoni was his first choice to run the defense in Miami and it was reported that Sparano was the one who mentioned him to Parcells back before he became a Cowboy.
Fun Fact: Pasqualoni was the head coach at Syracuse for 14 seasons until 2004. Before that he was an assistant coach making his total time at Syracuse 19 years.
Offensive coordinator Dan Henning is seasoned and respected among his players and the excitement and energy he brought to last year's offense is undeniable.
He works with what is perhaps the biggest Dolphins offensive story in a decade with the "wildcat" formations and he also helped draw up the Ronnie Brown touchdown vs. the Patriots last season that started it all.
Henning has a long distinguished career in both college football and the NFL, most recently serving as the offensive coordinator for five seasons for the Carolina Panthers before joining the Dolphins in 2008.
Sparano has been quoted this off-season saying that the young guys really respond to Henning and how excited they both are for the new season.
"He's fired up!" Sparano said of Henning.
Fun Fact: Henning played professional football but it was with the American Football League (AFL) for the San Diego Chargers in 1966, before the league merged with the NFL.
The Quarterbacks coach was honored by the Sporting News in 2008 as "Innovator of the Year" for introducing the "wildcat" to the NFL.
Also a former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks coach, he has his hands full with the Dolphins.
Besides the creative "wildcat" formations, he is responsible for bringing up the future franchise QB Chad Henne to a professional level, something that seems to be on schedule for 2010.
Fun Fact: David played QB at Vanderbilt where he was team captain and MVP in 1974.