Dolphins coach dies at 88
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.”