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Howard Schnellenberger
Howard  Schnellenberger

Louisville, KY

Last College:
Univ. Kentucky '56

Head Coach


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Florida Atlantic vs. South Florida

Florida Atlantic vs. South Florida, 10/6/07

Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger Photo Gallery

Coaching Career Highlights
• Four national collegiate football championships (Alabama '61, '64, 65: Miami '83)
• Seven NFL playoff teams (Miami Dolphins '70, '71, '72, '76, '79; Los Angeles Rams '67, '69)
• Best record in NFL history as the Miami Dolphins' Offensive Coordinator (17-0 in '72)
• 1983 National Champions defeating Nebraska 31-30 in the 50th Anniversary Orange Bowl Game
• 1983 National Coach of the Year

Special Honors, Awards • 2008 Inducted into Palm Beach County Hall of Fame
• 2008-2009 Head Coach of the Nation in Texas vs. Nation Game
• 2007 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year
• 2007 Recognized for being in the University of Kentucky's Hall of Fame
• 2005 Inducted into the University of Louisville Hall of Fame
• 2003 Palm Beach County Amateur Athlete Coach of the Year
• 2003 Sports Network South Coach of the Year
• 1991 Head Coach, Japan Bowl All-Star Game
• 1988 Head Coach, Blue/Gray All-Star Game
• 1983 Coach of the Year, U.S. Football Writers Association of America
• 1983 Coach of the East Squad, East-West Shrine Game
• 1982 Coach of the East Squad, East-West Shrine Game
• 1981, Coach of the Year, The Football News
• 1981, UPI Coach of the Week in 17-14 win over No. 1 Penn State
• 1980 Southern Independent Coach of the year, Associated Press
• 1980 Florida Sports Hall of Fame

At Florida Atlantic
An on-campus stadium rose from the ground in 2011. While those new to the program marveled at the speed of the construction, those familiar knew it was a long-time in the making and one of the many driving forces behind legendary Coach Howard Schnellenberger.

The stadium is a full circle of sorts for the 78-year-old football program architect. In April of 1998 Howard Schnellenberger was asked to consider a project. He was asked to weigh the facts, research the possibilities and explore the community's interest and support for the addition of football to FAU's sports roster. Just over a year later he was named Head Football Coach and the program was recruiting its first class.

That first class, along with some 150 more, held their first practice, in a junior college gymnasium, in sock, located just yards from where the new on-campus stadium stands. The first fall, the team bused, daily, to the newly constructed practice fields located behind the Tom Oxley Center, a building built due to Schnellenberger's $13 million fund raising effort. That road, a former military air strip, now lies beneath the on-campus stadium's turf. The program was born when the team took the field for its first outside practice, Aug. 12, 2000. FAU played its first scrimmage Sept. 23, 2000, and took to the field Sept. 1, 2001. It only took two games for FAU to have its first upset, defeating the No. 22 ranked team in the country, 31-28. That first year the Owls finished 4-6 and would return nearly every player.

2002 was a little more difficult as the players soon learned, predominately as sophomores, that size and age did not matter. Schnellenberger would set the course by scheduling the best programs that would play the Owls. FAU finished 2-9. But, just one year later the Owls would begin an upward spiral that no one, except Schnellenberger expected. FAU became the fastest start-up program to capture a Division I-A victory, the 22nd game. FAU would drop the next two but rattled off 10-consecutive victories and fell in the National Championship semi-final game, a game FAU hosted on National television. It was that same year that FAU was invited to join the Sun Belt Conference, an invitation that was accepted. Schnellenberger was named the 2003 Sports Network South Coach of the Year at season's end.

The Owls, comprised of the senior foundation builders, would forego any possibility of a Division I-AA national championship for the opportunity to move the program toward Division I-A. The challenge began when the Owls stormed into Hawaii, with a hurricane hitting Florida's coastline at game time, and handed the Warriors their only home field loss in 2004, defeating a bowl participant in just the 36th game of the program's existence. FAU would follow the 2003 record of 11-3 with a 9-3 mark playing the most difficult schedule to date.

In the fifth year, Schnellenberger was faced with replacing the inaugural class and many who had held positions for three and in some cases four years. The 2005 squad struggled to a 2-9 record playing a full FBS opponent slate. The following year, 2006, the Owls played their first five games on the road at Clemson, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and South Carolina and finished 5-7. The squad was guided by two quarterbacks, but saw the evolution of Rusty Smith, who would later become the first FAU player to be drafted by the NFL. That experience paid dividends in 2007 as Smith guided the Owls to an 8-5 record, the program's first Sun Belt Conference title and etched the program in the annals of the NCAA record books as the fastest program to earn a bowl invitation. Proving it wasn't a fluke, the Owls made a repeat appearance in 2008 becoming the only team in the state of Florida to have back-to-back bowl victories in 2007 and 2008. FAU also became the first Sun Belt Conference team to win back-to-back bowl games. What makes the bowl victories more impressive is that FAU became bowl eligible, in its rise to Division I-A status in 2006 therefore the Owls captured a bowl victory in two of the first three seasons that they were part of the Bowl Sub Division.

When you consider all the "firsts" that Florida Atlantic University's football team has accomplished, it is hard to believe. What may be even more difficult to comprehend is that legendary Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger accomplished a "first" as well in 2007. When the then 73-year-old program builder was named 2007 Sun Belt Coach of the Year, it marked the first time he had earned a conference award. Schnellenberger has resurrected two programs from virtual extinction. Neither was affiliated with a conference.

By 2008, Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger had welcomed the first recruiting class; climbed the ranks of Division I-AA, including a national semi-final appearance; joined a conference, began playing football in the country's highest classification, the Bowl Subdivision; and grabbed a league title along with two bowl championships to add to his perfect collection of six (six appearances as a head coach). With expectations high, the 2009 season began at Nebraska followed by South Carolina. The Owls would win five of their last eight, fall short of their goals with a 5-7 record, suffer a season-ending injury to Smith the three-year starting quarterback, but would accomplish another first when Schnellenberger saw his first FAU player selected in the NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans.

Schnellenberger and his Owls began 2010 with a new quarterback and five new offensive lineman, a new defensive coordinator, two new defensive coaches and a new strength coach. FAU closed out the season 4-8 but went into the off-season with three players invited to the NFL combine.

Schnellenberger closed out his collegiate coaching career in 2011, completing his mission to bring an on-campus stadium to FAU's Boca Raton campus. While the season was not all he had hoped it would be the nearly 30,000 seat stadium was more. Senior running back Alfred Morris ran into the record books becoming the program's all-time rusher. Morris then kept the NFL draft streak alive when he was take in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins. FAU had players drafted in 2010, 2011, 2012.

Schnellenberger and his Owls have written the program's first chapter. It was a decade to remember with an NCAA semi-final berth, accepting conference affiliation and back-to-back bowl victories. As the second decade begins, so does the next chapter. This chapter will begin in an on-campus stadium.

In the NFL
Schnellenberger has been part of seven NFL playoff teams and was part of two Super Bowl championship staffs. He helped the 1972 Miami Dolphins to the NFL's only undefeated (17-0) season. Schnellenberger has recruited and/or coached former pros Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Jay Gruden, Browning Nagle, and Jeff Brohm (FAU's quarterback coach), and stars such as Michael Irvin, Brian and Bennie Blades, offensive tackles Bruce Armstrong and Jerry Crafts; fullback Carwell Gardner; wide receiver Earnest Givins; defensive end Joe Johnson, defensive tackle Ted Washington; cornerback Ray Buchanan; and defensive tackle Mike Flores. Three of his former assistants were on the staff of the Dallas Cowboys during their rise to consecutive Super Bowl Titles.

At Miami
Schnellenberger took over a University of Miami program that was nearing extinction in 1979. He installed a pro-style attack with quarterback Jim Kelly and led Miami to an Orange Bowl bid and the national championship four years later. His teams lost only two home games in five years (22-2) while laying the groundwork for a program that went on to win three more national titles in the next seven seasons.

At Louisville
A native of Louisville, Schnellenberger returned in 1985 to build a college football contender. His top team finished 10-1-1 and defeated Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl, the highlight of the most successful decade in Louisville football history. His teams played a coast-to-coast schedule against the top conferences in the nation and produced victories over such teams as Texas (1), Alabama (1), Michigan State (1), North Carolina (1), Virginia (1), NC State (1), West Virginia (1), Boston College (1), Arizona State (2), and Pittsburgh (4). The Schnellenberger Era also generated support for the University's 42,000-seat, on-campus stadium.

Howard Schnellenberger learned his football tactics as a player for "Bear" Bryant and Blanton Collier at the University of Kentucky. He served as an assistant to Collier at Kentucky and Bryant at Alabama. Schnellenberger then moved on to pro ball as an assistant to George Allen (Rams) and Don Shula (Dolphins). He was head coach of the Baltimore Colts from 1973 to 74. He and his wife, Beverlee, have two sons: Stuart and Tim. Stuart was a tight end/center on his father's 1983 national championship team. His eldest son, Stephen, passed away March 9, 2008. Grandchildren are Teather Ann, Joey and Marcus.

Howard Schnellenberger Coaching Experience

1999-2011 Head Coach Florida Atlantic University
1995 Head Coach Oklahoma University
1985-94 Head Coach University of Louisville
1979-84 Head Coach University of Miami
1975-79 Asst. Coach Miami Dolphins
1973-74 Head Coach Baltimore Colts
1970-72 Asst. Coach Miami Dolphins
1966-69 Asst. Coach Los Angeles Rams
1961-65 Asst. Coach University of Alabama
1959-60 Asst. Coach Univ. of Kentucky

Howard Schnellenberger Career Notes and Highlights

Years As Collegiate Coach: 27
Collegiate Record: 158-151-3 (.511)
At Miami: 41-16 (.719)
At Louisville: 54-56-2 (.491)
At Oklahoma: 5-5-1 (.500)
At Florida Atlantic: 58-74-0 (.439)
Bowl Record: 6-0
1980 Peach Bowl, beat Virginia Tech 20-10
1983 Orange Bowl, beat Nebraska 31-30
1990 Fiesta Bowl, beat Alabama 34-7
1993 Liberty Bowl, beat Michigan State 18-7
2007 New Orleans Bowl, beat Memphis 44-27
2008 Motor City Bowl, beat Central Michigan 24-20

Year-by-Year Collegiate Head Coaching Record

Year School W L T Pct
1979 Miami 5 6 0 .454
1980 Miami 9 3 0 .750
1981 Miami 9 2 0 .818
1982 Miami 7 4 0 .636
1983 Miami 11 1 0 .916
1985 Louisville 2 9 0 .182
1986 Louisville 3 8 0 .272
1987 Louisville 3 7 1 .318
1988 Louisville 8 3 0 .727
1989 Louisville 6 5 0 .545
1990 Louisville 10 1 1 .875
1991 Louisville 2 9 0 .182
1992 Louisville 5 6 0 .455
1993 Louisville 9 3 0 .750
1994 Louisville 6 5 0 .545
1995 Oklahoma 5 5 1 .500
2001 Florida Atlantic 4 6 0 .400
2002 Florida Atlantic 2 9 0 .181
2003 Florida Atlantic 11 3 0 .786
2004 Florida Atlantic 9 3 0 .750
2005 Florida Atlantic 2 9 0 .181
2006 Florida Atlantic 5 7 0 .417
2007 Florida Atlantic 8 5 0 .667
2008 Florida Atlantic 7 6 0 .538
2009 Florida Atlantic 5 7 0 .420
2010 Florida Atlantic 4 8 0 .333
2011 Florida Atlantic 1 11 0 .083
Total 27 years 158 151 3 .511

Howard Schnellenberger Year-by-Year NFL Coaching Record

Years As NFL Coach: 2
NFL Record: 4-13 (.235)
1973 at Baltimorei: 4-10 (.286)
1974 at Baltimore: 0-3 (.000)

Schnellenberger and the Pros...
Style of play and practice regimens have helped more than 100 players recruited by Coach Schnellenberger's staff to play in the NFL.
• Ten players recruited by Coach Schnellenberger's staffs were drafted in the first round.
• At least one player who was recruited or coached by Schnellenberger has played in the last 12 Super Bowls.

Players recruited by Howard Schnellenberger and his assistants or who played for Schnellenberger who later made an NFL rosters for at least one season.

1. David Ackers, PK, Philadelphia Eagles
2. Jaime Asher, TE, Washington Redskins
3. Bruce Armstrong, OL, New England Patriots
4. Aaron Bailey, WR, Indianapolis Colts
5. Don Bailey, C, Indianapolis Colts
6. Rocky Belk, WR, Cleveland Browns
7. Rodney Bellinger, DB, Atlanta Falcons
8. Albert Bentley, RB, Indianapolis Colts
9. Bennie Blades, DB, Detroit Lions
10. Brian Blades, WR, Seattle Seahawks
11. John Bock, OL, Miami Dolphins
12. Deral Boykin, DB, Los Angeles Rams
13. Larry Bradsky, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
14. Melvin Bratton, RB, Denver Broncos
15. Jeff Brohm, QB, San Diego Chargers
16. Jay Brophy, DB, Miami Dolphins
17. Willie Lee Broughton, DE, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Raiders, Indianapolis Colts
18. Eddie Brown, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, 1st Round (13)
19. Jerome Brown, DT, Philadelphia Eagles, 1st Round (9)
20. Ray Buchanan, DB, Indianapolis Colts
21. Jim Burt, DL, New York Giants
22. Dallas Cameron, NT, Denver Broncos
23. Alan Campos, LB, Dallas Cowboys
24. Tom Cavallo, LB, San Francisco 49ers
25. Tony Chickillo, DT, San Diego Chargers
26. Resco Clark, DB, Indianapolis Colts
27. Gene Coleman, DB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
28. Mark Cooper, OT, Denver Broncos
29. Julio Cortes, DE, Seattle Seahawks
30. Jerry Crafts, OL, Buffalo Bills
31. Ralph Dawkins, RB, New Orleans Saints
32. Glenn Dennison, TE, New York Jets
33. Leon Evans, DE, Detroit Lions
34. Kevin Fagan, DT, San Francisco 49ers
35. Mike Flores, DE, Philadelphia Eagles
36. Darrell Fullerton, DB, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
37. Carwell Gardner, RB, Buffalo Bills
38. Keith Griffin, RB, Washington Redskins
39. Earnest Givens, WR, Houston Oilers
40. Jim Hanna, DT, New Orleans Saints
41. Jason Harmon, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
42. David Heffernan, OL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
43. Alonzo Highsmith, RB, Dallas Cowboys, 1st Round (3), Houston Oilers
44. Rob Housler, TE, Arizona Cardinals, 3rd Round (3), Houston Oilers
45. Michael Irvin, WR, Dallas Cowboys, 1st Round (11)
46. David Jefferson, LB, Seattle Seahawks
47. Joe Johnson, DE, New Orleans Saints, 1st Round (13)
48. Jim Joiner, WR, St. Louis Rams
49. Derwin Jones, DE, Seattle Seahawks
50. Jim Kelly, QB, Buffalo Bills
51. Joe Kohlbrand, DE, New Orleans Saints
52. Bernie Kosar, QB, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, 1st Overall Selection
53. Ronnie Lippett, DB, New England Patriots
54. Sam Madison, CB, Miami Dolphins
55. Fred Marion, DB, New England Patriots
56. Tyrrus McCloud, LB, Baltimore Ravens
57. Bubba McDowell, DB, Houston Oilers
58. John McVeigh, DE, Seattle Seahawks
59. Danny Miller, PK, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots
60. George Mira, Jr., LB, San Francisco 49ers
61. Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins
62. Winston Moss, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Rams
63. Browning Nagel, QB, Atlanta Falcons, 2nd Round (1), New York Jets
64. Bob Nelson, DT, Miami Dolphins
65. Scott Nicolas, LB, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns
66. Roman Oben, T, New York Jets
67. Paul O'Connor, OL, NY Giants
68. Darryl Oliver, RB, Seattle Seahawks
69. Roman Olsen, OL, New York Giants
70. Matt Patchan, OT, Philadelphia Eagles
71. Brett Perriman, WR, New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions
72. Mark Sander, LB, Miami Dolphins
73. Robert "Speedy Neal, RB, Buffalo Bills
74. Gregg Rakoczy, OC, Cleveland Browns
75. Terry Rice Lockett, LB, Los Angeles Raiders
76. Alfredo Roberts, TE, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs
77. Fred Robinson, DE, San Diego Chargers
78. Mike Rodriguez, WR, Miami Dolphins
79. William Rose, FB, Tennessee Titans
80. Mark Rush, RB, Minnesota Vikings
81. Randy Shannon, LB, Dallas Cowboys
82. Joey Smith, DB, NY Giants
83. Rusty Smith, QB, Tennessee Titans
84. Reggie Sutton, DB, New Orleans Saints
85. Danny Stubbs, DE, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys
86. Reggie Sutton, DB, New Orleans Saints
87. John Swain, DB, Minnesota Vikings
88. Vinnie Testaverde, QB, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Tampa Buccaneers, 1st Round (1)
89. Lawerence Thompson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
90. John Turner, DB, San Diego Chargers
91. Rick Tuten, PK, Philadelphia Eagles
92. Pat Walker, WR, Denver Broncos
93. Ted Washington, DT, Denver Broncos 1st Round (25), San Francisco 49ers
94. Lester Williams, DL, New England Patriots 1st Round (27)
95. Warren Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
96. Klaus Wilmsmeyer, PK, San Francisco 49ers

Florida Atlantic Draftees
Rusty Smith, QB, Tennessee Titans (6th round)
Rob Housler, TE, Arizona Cardinals (3rd round)
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins (6th)

Free Agent Signees from Florida Atlantic with NFL or CFL
Brian Pare, LS, Chicago Bears
Chris Laskowski, LB, Indianapolis Colts
Kevin Fischer, OL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jared Allen, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quentin Swain, LB, NFL Europe
Willie Hughley, DB, Cleveland Browns
Nello Faulk, OL, Jacksonville Jaguars
Lestar Jean, WR, Houston Texans
Mark Myers, K, CFL and Jets
Lawrence Gordon, DB, CFL
Taheem Acevedo, DB, Kansas City Chiefs
Casey McGahee, DB, CFL
Troy Pindell, DB, CFL
Frantz Joseph, LB, Oakland Raiders
Jervonte Jackson, DL, Philadelphia Eagles
Charles Pierre, RB, CFL
Jason Harmon, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
William Rose, FB, Tennessee Titans

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