Vikings cancel Friday practice to attend memorial service for Tony Sparano

Minnesota Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano passed away unexpectedly this past Sunday. He was 56. On Tuesday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Vikings have cancelled Friday’s practice to attend Sparano’s memorial service.

Sparano, the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2008-11, joined the Vikings in 2016. He had coached in the NFL since 1999.

After his passing Sunday, the Vikings released a statement.

“Our hearts go out to Jeanette and the entire Sparano family as we all mourn the loss of Tony,” said owners Mark and Zygi Wilf. “Tony was a passionate and driven individual who cared deeply about his family, and especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Tony’s presence within the Vikings organization will be deeply missed. We are only thinking of Tony’s family during this incredibly difficult time. We ask that the entire NFL and Vikings family keep the Sparanos in their thoughts.”

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NFL coach Tony Sparano through his career
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NFL coach Tony Sparano through his career
IRVING, TX - 2005: Tony Sparano of the Dallas Cowboys poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Irving, Texas. (Photo by Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Tony Sparano, who is an early front-runner to replace Miami Dolphins head Coach Cam Cameron, is also scheduled to interview for the head coaching vacancy in Atlanta. Sparano is seen here before the Cowboys versus Minnesota Vikings preseason NFL football game on Thursday, August 31, 2006. (Photo by Khampha Bouaphanh/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
MIAMI - AUGUST 09: Head Coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins stands on the sidelines during a pre season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers August 9, 2008 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
MIAMI - NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Chad Pennington #10 of the Miami Dolphins chats with his head coach Tony Sparano during a game against the Oakland Raiders at Dolphin Stadium November 16, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Miami defeated Oakland 17-15. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Miami head coach Tony Sparano signals a first down in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, December 21, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Dolphins won 38-31. (Photo by John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins looks on during the loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on September 13, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons defeated Miami 19-7. (Photo by Rex Brown/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 13: Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins yells during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Dolpnins won 14-10. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Head Coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins cheers during warm-ups before a NFL game against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium on September 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 19: Wayne Huizenga greets head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills on December 19, 2010 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano is pumped after an extra point in the first quarter against the New York Jets at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Sunday, December 12, 2010. (Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr./Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach of the Miami Dolphins Tony Sparano watches the action during a game against the Houston Texans at Sun Life Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
DAVIE, FL - AUGUST 30: Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins watches the players warm up during training camp on August 30, 2011 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins in action against the New York Jets on October 17, 2011 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 24-6.. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 04: New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano coaches during the Jets Rookie Minicamp on May 4, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - MAY 24: Rex Ryan, New York Jets head coach, talks with offensive coordinator Tony Sparano at an organized team activity at the New York Jets Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on May 24, 2012 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets discusses a play with Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 16, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Pereira/New York Jets/Getty Images)
New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano takes the field before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Sunday, September 23, 2012. The New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins, 23-20, in overtime. (Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Greg McElroy #14 talks to Tony Sparano, offensive coordinator of the New York Jets against the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky /Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 12: Head coach Tony Sparano of the Oakland Raiders looks on from the sidelines against the San Diego Chargers during the first quarter at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 16: Head coach Tony Sparano of the Oakland Raiders talks to quarterback Derek Carr #4 during the second half of the game at Qualcomm Stadium on November 16, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 02: Interim head coach Tony Sparano of the Oakland Raiders looks on prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 2, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 14: Interim head coach Tony Sparano (L) of the Oakland Raiders fist pumps with kicker Sabastian Janikowski (R) prior to a game with the Kansas City Chiefs on December 14, 2014 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 28: Interim head coach Tony Sparano of the Oakland Raiders looks on as his players warm up before a game between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 28, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 18: Tight Ends coach Tony Sparano of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter of an NFL game at Levi's Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line Coach Tony Sparano talks to his players during a NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams on November 19, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Vikings defeated the Rams 24-7. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line coach Tony Sparano looks on during an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 17, 2017 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21: Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line coach Tony Sparano looks on during the NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles on January 21, 2018 at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings by the score of 38-7. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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