Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Atlantic's Howard Schnellenberger says 2001 season will be his last coaching college football

BOCA RATON — Howard Schnell­enberger played for Bear Bryant, led Miami to its first national title and built a program from scratch at Florida Atlantic.

That's enough to satisfy him.

Schnellenberger, 77, will retire from coaching football after this season at FAU, his last stop on a journey that began 52 years ago.

"It is hard for a coach to even fathom this kind of a thing," Schnellenberger, who will be a fundraiser for FAU and help find his replacement, said Thursday. "But … it seems to be a great idea."

His latest accomplishment comes Oct. 15, when FAU opens a $70 million, 30,000-seat, on-campus stadium that would not have been built if not for his constant pushing.

"The House That Howard Built is the right acronym for that stadium," FAU president Mary Jane Saunders said.

Said athletic director Craig Angelos: "The vision he is able to create and eventually bring to reality is something that is unmatched. Step by step, things start falling into place. And pretty soon, believers get on board."

Schnellenberger played at Kentucky for Bryant then began his coaching career in 1959 as an assistant at Kentucky. He moved to Alabama, where he helped lure Joe Namath, then jumped to the NFL with the Rams in 1966. He was on Don Shula's staff for the Dolphins' perfect season in 1972 then became coach of the Colts. He returned to the Dolphins as an assistant in 1975 and got the job leading the Hurricanes in 1979.

There, he found a program that had gone 36-60 under five coaches since 1970. But he told people he believed the Hurricanes would win a national title within five years. He delivered.

Schnellenberger went 41-16 at Miami, his last game a 31-30 win over Nebraska on Jan. 1, 1984, for the national title. That started a run of five titles in 19 seasons

"He was a fierce, smart and great football coach," said Miami offensive line coach Art Kehoe, who was part of all five national title teams as a player or assistant. "I don't know if this program would have ever gotten off the map like it did without Howard's leadership."

Schnellenberger left Miami after the first title for an offer with the USFL, a deal that fell apart before he coached a game. He returned to college at Louis­ville in 1985 and went 54-56-2 over 10 seasons there and 5-5-1 in one season at Oklahoma.

In 1998, he came to start FAU's program. The Owls began play in 2001 and won bowl games in 2007 (along with the Sun Belt title) and 2008.

In 26 college seasons, Schnellenberger is 157-140-3, including 6-0 in bowl games.

Said Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher: "Football lost a great man."

Florida Atlantic's Howard Schnellenberger says 2001 season will be his last coaching college football 08/11/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 12, 2011 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Why a true freshman quarterback doesn't kill FSU's title hopes

    College

    Florida State's James Blackman will make history Saturday when the No. 12 Seminoles host North Carolina State in their first game after Hurricane Irma.

    Florida State quarterback James Blackman warms up before a game against Alabama on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. When Florida State's Deandre Francois, Georgia's Jacob Eason and Texas A&M's Nick Starkel all got hurt in their respective season openers, true freshmen ended up taking over the rest of the way.  (Joe Rondone/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)
  2. Cue the Scott Frost to Nebraska speculation

    Blogs

    Nebraska shook up the college sports world Thursday afternoon when it fired athletic director Shawn Eichorst.

    And that should scare UCF fans.

  3. USF defense feeds on Temple offense to take NCAA interceptions lead

    College

    TAMPA — Backed up in his end zone, Temple quarterback Logan Marchi scrambled, trying to elude a USF defensive end coming straight for him. Until then, Marchi hadn't had much luck hitting his receivers.

    South Florida Bulls safety Devin Abraham (20) sacks Temple Owls quarterback Logan Marchi (12) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  4. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  5. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    TAMPA

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.