Miami coach made his name building ‘No-Name Defense’
Bill Arnsparger, an assistant coach who directed the “No-Name Defense” that helped the Miami Dolphins win Super Bowl titles in 1973 and 1974, died July 17 at his home in Athens, Ala. He was 88.
His death was announced by the Dolphins. The cause was not disclosed. The Dolphins team that won the Super Bowl in January 1973 had a record of 17-0, the only perfect season in National Football League history.
Mr. Arnsparger left the Dolphins after the 1974 Super Bowl to become head coach of the New York Giants, where hewas7-28 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.
In a statement, Shula called Mr. Arnsparger “one of the greatest defensive coaches in football. He molded two championship units, the ‘No-Names’ and the ‘Killer B’s,’ and was innovative in the way he used personnel.”
Shula added, “If there was a Hall of Fame for assistant coaches, he would be one of the very first inductees.”
Mr. Arnsparger was head coach at Louisiana State University from 1984 to 1986, leading the Tigers to two Southeastern Conference titles in three seasons before leaving to become athletic director at the University of Florida.
He completed his pro coaching career as defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers from 1992 through 1994.
William Stephen Arnsparger was born Dec. 16, 1926, in Paris, Ky. After serving in the Marines during World War II, he played tackle for Coach Woody Hayes at Miami University in Ohio. One of his teammates was Bo Schembechler, the future Michigan coach.
Mr. Arnsparger started his coaching career at his alma mater, spent time under Hayes at Ohio State, and also had stints at Kentucky and Tulane before jumping to the NFL’s Baltimore Colts with Shula in 1964.
Mr. Arnsparger coached the Colts’ defensive line on teams that reached the 1964 NFL title game and 1969 Super Bowl.