That fact, however, hasn’t quelled the rumors that owner Stephen Ross is reaching out to Stanford University head coach and fellow Michigan alum Jim Harbaugh to replace Sparano in 2011.
According to the NFL Network‘s Jason La Canfora, the Dolphins are pushing to hire Harbaugh after the two sides met while the coach was in Miami for the week leading up to last night’s Orange Week. The team has reportedly had “multiple conversations” with Harbaugh.
Sparano and GM Jeff Ireland did both emerged from an extended meeting with Ross on Monday still employed. Multiple sources have said Ireland is relatively safe, but the Dolphins have refused to make a firm statement on Sparano’s future with the team.
Steve Wyche of NFL.com stated that it will “be hard for Sparano to survive” with the Dolphins.
Ex-Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher is another named tied to Miami, but sources close to him stated that he would only take the job if he could bring his own personnel guys. In other words, Ireland would have to be out for Cowher to be in, and that looks very unlikely.
Harbaugh, on the other hand, has some previous ties to Ireland and would be one of the few candidates likely to take a job without requiring a completely new staff.