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Falcons' Smith voted as coach of year

Updated: January 4, 2009, 9:40 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Mike Smith and Tony Sparano performed so brilliantly as rookie head coaches it was almost impossible to separate them.

Atlanta's Smith edged Miami's Sparano by one vote Sunday for The Associated Press 2008 NFL Coach of the Year award.

Both coaches oversaw sensational turnarounds, leading their teams from last-place finishes in 2007 to playoff berths this year. Their achievements were reflected by the closeness of the balloting, with Smith getting 23 votes and Sparano 22 ...

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