Screenshot/Minnesota Vikings

Tony Sparano's family served as honorary captains for Saturday's game, where the Vikings honored the former coach with a video tribute.

By Jenna West
August 18, 2018

The Vikings honored former offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who died unexpectedly last month, before their Saturday preseason game against the Jaguars.

Sparano's wife, Jeanette, daughter Ryan and son Tony Jr., an assistant offensive line coach for Jacksonville, served as the game's honorary captains. 

The former Vikings coach died from arteriosclerotic heart disease at his home in Eden Praire last month at age 56.

Before the game started, the Vikings held a moment of silence in memory of Sparano and played a tribute video on the jumbotron at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

The video began with footage of Sparano speaking to the Raiders, where he served as interim head coach in 2014. It also showed scenes of his coaching days with the Dolphins and Vikings.

"Football was his vehicle to impact and change people's lives for the better, and he loved everything about it," Tony Jr. said about his father in the video.

Sparano coached at Minnesota for two seasons, helping lead the Vikings to the 2017 NFC Championship game.

During his 19-year coaching career in the NFL, Sparano also worked for the Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, Cowboys and 49ers. He is survived by his wife, three children and four grandchildren.

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