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February 19, 2008

Question from Danielle
Hey Coach,
I hope you've got your coaches keeping an eye on "Pooh Bear" Mars, a star linebacker from Apopka for next year's signing class. If we start talking to him now, I'm sure he'll be interested! Plus, you can sell him on the stadium since, after he red shirted in 2009, he'll be ready to go when we open up our stadium in 2010! yay!

Good luck! See you at FanFest! Thanks!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Obviously, we are always looking a head to recruit players of the future. Apopka and the Orlando area are handled by (Assistant Coach) David Serna. He does a great job for us looking at underclassmen. We canít talk to the young man at this juncture nor can any of our friends and alumni. We have to make him aware of our football teamís interest in him by inviting him to home games and certainly following him on film this year to see if he will be a recruited player for us.

Question from Rene
I grew up in Louisville watching you coach and now live in Naples. I am forty years old and have been working in fields other than football. However, my true love is football and for once am serious about following a dream. Remember your quote of collision course). How does someone get involved at my stage in life with coaching at a collegiate level? I have always had a love for the game.

I have always thought you were the best coach ever at Louisville and enjoyed watching your spread offense. Thank you for the enjoyment of watching you coach.


Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
I certainly understand your feeling about football. It is a fresh and exhilarating experience and keeps you young. I do hate to tell you that it is very difficult to go into a coaching position at this age of your life. But, there are alternatives in marketing, merchandising, advertising and all the things that go along with football. Many people like to keep involved in sports for the joy and art of it while holding down a day job.

Question from Dana
Hi Coach,
I love FAU football!

I was just wondering how you'd compare recruiting for FAU, with no stadium on-campus, to recruiting for Miami, which had no stadium on-campus. Was that as much a factor back then as it is now?

Additionally... I heard at one point that Hawaii had tried to add us to their 2007 schedule. Considering how both team's seasons worked out, do you now wish we had played them or are you glad we didn't?

Thank you for your time. Bye! :)

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Anytime you donít have a stadium on campus, you have a major drawback, the same drawback at Miami and at Louisville. Miami on the one hand decided not to create a stadium on their campus. Louisville, on the other hand, now has a 62,000 seat stadium on their campus. Obviously, their program has gained greatly by having the stadium on campus.

As far as playing in Hawaii, they did want us to come over there very late and to add a 13th game to our schedule. But, it didnít seem like it would be the right thing for us to do since we had five major out of conference games on our schedule, four of those five were away. As much as I would like to take the team back to Hawaii, 2007 was not the year.

Question from Gavin
Hi coach,
I currently go to FAU, and I was wondering if and when you have open tryouts?


Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
This year, for the first time, we will have a one day camp where we will be able to time and get a good look at the many, many players that will come to one of these events in south Florida. They have become meaningful and the rules will allow it to happen.

Question from Camille
I just wanted to write and express my disappointment that FAU is trying to sell the naming rights for the on-campus football field. The naming rights for that field clearly belong to you. Your name should live on with this program for the next hundred years.

Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do. And thanks for not being one of those coaches I see on ESPN screaming at their players after a bad play. I think it's very classy of you to be so understanding. It makes me proud that you're our coach and not those guys.

Have a good one and God bless.

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
I certainly thank you for bringing to my attention your feelings about my deportment on the sidelines. It is my job as the head coach on the sidelines to be the guy that is responsible for everything that happens there and to make the calls for when to punt, kick field goals, when to go on fourth down, when to go for a two-point play, and when to change the game plan. It is my job to create momentum with calls and with emotions on the sidelines. It is my job to get us out doldrums when they occur and get us back into that positive mode as quickly as possible.

As far as my name on the field, that is a wonderful tribute. I donít think it is necessary for us to have success in building our stadium, but never the less to be associated with a school like Florida Atlantic for a long period of time would be very rewarding.

Question from Adam
Hey Coach!
Some of us were talking on Ted Hutton's blog about Boise State's famous blue football field.

We know you love blue and wondered what you thought of the idea of a blue football field for FAU? Maybe red yardage lines and red end zones, with the winged FAU word in white on the end zone?

Yes, no? Crazy? Too expensive? Too derivative?

Just curious! Thanks Coach!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
It is my preference that we have a natural turf on our football field. The Bermuda grows wonderfully down here and you can over-seed it with rye and keep it green year around. If we put in an artificial surface it would need to look like grass in my judgment, the greener the better.

Question from Jake
Hey Coach,
I've heard you've been speaking to UCF. What sort of series are we looking to start with them? 2-and-2? 2-and-1? 1-and-1?

Maybe we can play there in '09 and they can play here in '10? Then there in '11 and here in '12?

An opening schedule in 2010 with Michigan State, UCF and say FSU (or Miami) all on the home slate would be stupendous for attendance in our new stadium.

The UCF/FAU rivalry has already flared up on the message boards... we just need a game to put our money where our mouth is. We believe.

Thanks Coach! Good luck in '08!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
You are right we need to have a game with Central Florida. We would like to have a home-and-home game, if that would be acceptable by both parties. Two-and-two home games would be even better. The opening of a series like this, even though we played them in back in 2002 and had a very competitive game, would certainly be great for Central Florida as it would for Florida Atlantic. I think our fans would travel up there and they would travel down here. It would be a great game for each of us to have. It will happen it is just a matter of time.

Question from Ed
Coach, Congrats on this past year. I have followed your carrier for many years as I am from Louisville, Ky. and went to St.Xavier HS remembering those great Sundays when X and Flaget met on the field. I am looking for advise from someone with your success. My son is the head coach of a small Div. II college with little or no money to get good players. His success has been limited to better g.p.a.'s and just bringing in large amounts of players. His record on the field is not very good but the competition is well above their level. He wants to move on to a larger school but I believe the wins and losses supersede all the other good he is doing. (No other coach has succeeded at this school) What do you recommend that he do to attempt to further his career in coaching he is 36 years old? I hope you don't mind giving me some pointers to pass on to him. Also thanks for putting our UofL Cardinals on the track to the success they have achieved. I only wish you could have stayed longer!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
The games between St. X and Flaget were certainly magnificent. They were iconic much like the game between Male and Emanuel and now I guess Male and Trinity that brings a great crowd. St. X and Trinity games still do. Football is very prominent in Louisville and the state of Kentucky as I said when I was coaching there football touches more people than basketball ever could think about.

If your son is not making success at the school that he is at and if his future doesnít look any brighter, it is probably better for him to make a move. He would need to try and find a way to find an assistantship at whatever Division I A, AA or what ever school he can, but particularly those that has a good future as far as wins and losses. Being caught up in a totally loosing situation canít be helpful for his future.

Question from Alan
Hello Coach
Is our stadium going to say ďTo Believe is to Be StrongĒ anywhere on it? Maybe on an arch as you come into the stadium?


Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Certainly, ďTo Believe is to Be StrongĒ will be inscribed somewhere on the stadium. We donít know the configuration of the stadium and where the most appropriate place would be. I would think that probably on the floor coming out of the locker room that leads to the field or in some prominent place above the heads of those taking the field.

Question from Scott
Dear Coach,
I just wanted to say congrats on the New Orleans Bowl win. I was married on Dec 1st (on a side note...after the ceremony, I was glued to my phone getting updates on the Troy game all the way from the car ride, to the reception, and through the cocktail hour. When the score was final, I was toasting for YOU and the OWLS!) Then, on Dec 18th my wife and I moved to North Carolina. The day after the bowl win, you better believe I was wearing my FAU hat and sweatshirt to show my support to you the OWLS! Just know, that up here in North Carolina you have a great fan. Blessings to you, your family, and the OWL football team for years to come! Go OWLS, your great coach!

Scottie 04'

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Iím glad that you relayed that story to us. I think you are like so many Owl fans, Owl graduates, and Owl students who didnít envision a great football program coming into your life so quickly. It is a great example of what is to come as we grow and develop and as we play better teams and get wins. Your team, just like all the teams that have 100 year of experience or more, will be the topic of conversation throughout the Sunday and Mondayís following the great games. Those of you who are a part of it at this juncture are being a part of it at the very best time, when it is all new and all fresh and Cinderella is making her way towards the ball.

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