Struggling Raiders name Sparano as interim head coach

Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:54pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - The struggling Oakland Raiders have appointed Tony Sparano as interim head coach in place of Dennis Allen, the National Football League team said on Tuesday.

Allen, who had been in charge since 2012, was sacked late on Monday after the Raiders had lost each of their first four games this season.

The Raiders were hammered 38-14 by the Miami Dolphins at London's Wembley Stadium on Sunday, marking the first time the team has started a season 0-4 since 2006.

"Tony Sparano has a strong presence in this organization," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in a statement.

"His experience and leadership qualities will serve the team well in helping reach the goal of everyone here, which is to win football games."

Sparano, 52, who has been offensive line coach for the past two seasons in Oakland, brings 31 years of coaching experience to the job, including 16 in the NFL and nine combined seasons as a head coach at college and NFL level.

From 2008-11, Sparano served as head coach of the Dolphins and compiled an overall record of 29-33 (.475), including an 11-5 record and the AFC East title in his first season at the helm.

The Raiders have endured 11 straight seasons without a winning record or a playoff berth, and have had seven head coaches since 2002, the most in the league.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)

 
New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano looks on against the New York Giants during the second quarter of their pre-season NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey August 18, 2012.  REUTERS/Adam Hunger