Dol­phins coach dies at 88

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OBITUARIES -

Bill Arnsparger, the Mi­ami as­sis­tant coach who di­rected the “No-Name De­fence” that helped the Dol­phins win Su­per Bowl ti­tles in 1973 and 1974, died Fri­day. He was 88.

Laura Pre­witt, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Breed­ers' Cup Fes­ti­val in Lex­ing­ton, Ken­tucky, an­nounced the death, say­ing Arnsparger died at his home in Athens, Alabama.

The Mi­ami team that won the Su­per Bowl in Jan­uary 1973 had the only per­fect sea­son in NFL history.

“Bill Arnsparger was a sem­i­nal fig­ure in Dol­phins history,” the Dol­phins said in a state­ment. “Along with Coach Shula and so many other great play­ers and coaches, Bill played a piv­otal role in es­tab­lish­ing the Dol­phins as one of the win­ningest teams in football and flag­ship fran­chises in pro­fes­sional sports. Our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones and friends dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time.”

Arnsparger left the Dol­phins af­ter the 1974 Su­per Bowl to be­come head coach of the New York Giants, where he was 7-28 be­fore he was fired af­ter an 0-7 start in 1976. He re­turned to Don Shula's Mi­ami staff and re­mained with the Dol­phins un­til 1983, help­ing them reach another Su­per Bowl.

“I was sad­dened to learn of the pass­ing of Bill Arnsparger, who I thought was one of the great­est de­fen­sive coaches in football,” Shula said in a state­ment. “He moulded two cham­pi­onship units, the 'No-Names' and the 'Killer B's,' and was in­no­va­tive in the way he used per­son­nel.

“He pi­o­neered sit­u­a­tional sub­sti­tu­tions with the '53' de­fence that changed the way the game was played on that side of the ball. If there was a Hall of Fame for as­sis­tant coaches, he would be one of the very first in­ductees. Mary Anne and I want to ex­tend our con­do­lences to B.J. and the en­tire fam­ily.”

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