Jets fire OC Tony Sparano

Updated: January 8, 2013, 10:10 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The New York Jets have fired offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, who was informed of his dismissal Monday night.

The move was made after a meeting between Jets owner Woody Johnson and coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan announced he had dismissed Sparano at a news conference Tuesday. Ryan also announced he would name a new defensive coordinator this offseason. Mike Pettine has an expiring contract and will interview with the Bills and new coach Doug Marrone on Tuesday.

The Jets will move quickly to replace Pettine, with secondary coach Dennis Thurman likely to be promoted.

The Jets were ranked 30th in total offense in Sparano's first and only season in the role, doomed by their unsettled quarterback position.

News of Sparano's firing comes one day after the Jets parted ways with quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.

Cavanaugh, whose contract is set to expire, was Mark Sanchez's position coach from the moment he was drafted fifth overall in 2009. Sanchez regressed in 2012 under Cavanaugh and offensive coordinator Sparano.

Sanchez ultimately was removed from the starting spot for Greg McElroy in Week 16, although Sanchez started the finale after McElroy was ruled out with a concussion.

And Tim Tebow didn't have much of an impact after he was acquired in a trade with the Broncos as New York's Wildcat package was ineffective and the team wasn't sure how to use him in other packages.

The firings started last Monday with the dismissal of longtime general manager Mike Tannenbaum. Since then, the coaching staff has been in limbo as the organization conducts its GM search. After a week off, during which Ryan's vacation in the Bahamas became front-page news, the coaches returned Monday.

As for the search for Tannenbaum's successor, Falcons director of player personnel Dave Caldwell is scheduled to interview Tuesday for the second time for the Jets' open position, a league source told ESPN. Caldwell, who is a finalist for the Jaguars' GM vacancy, interviewed for a third time with Jacksonville on Monday. 

Johnson said Tuesday that Ryan will be part of the hiring process for the new GM and that one condition for the GM will be that Ryan will be the coach for the 2013 season.

Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was used in this report.

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