University News

President Kaplan Statement on the Passing of Tony Sparano '84

July 22, 2018

Photo montage of Tony Sparano '84
Sparano was a former student-athlete and head coach of the Chargers football team, leading the team to the 1997 Division II national championship game. Photo Credit: Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

On behalf of the entire University of New Haven community, I extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and former student-athletes of Tony Sparano ’84.

Coach Sparano, who passed away on July 22, was part of the University of New Haven football team’s first undefeated season. He went on to become one of the most successful coaches in the University’s history, leading the Chargers to the 1997 National Championship game. He achieved great success in the NFL, working with teams such as the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins, and, most recently, the Minnesota Vikings. The University recognized Sparano with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008.

Tony was a passionate supporter of his beloved alma mater, an institution that always held a special place in his heart. Throughout his distinguished career at the University of New Haven – and in reaching the highest level of his profession – he embodied the ideals we strive to instill in all of our students. The countless people celebrating his life is testament to the legions of people he profoundly impacted as a coach, mentor, and friend.

Image of President Kaplan's signature

Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D.
The University of New Haven