Sad news to share this morning, as coaching icon Howard Schnellenberger has passed.
He was 87 years old.
Beverlee, his wife of 61 years, shared the following statement with FAU.
"Howard always allowed me to be a part of his football life," said Beverlee. "Watching him on the sidelines was an opportunity that gave us a special closeness – win or lose – that not many wives get. Even though he never smiled, he was always smiling in his heart. We loved all the moves and challenges. I will miss his warm heart, his warm hands and soft kisses. Howard always treated me special, like a queen, and was truly a husband that every Canadian girl dreams of. You will always be my love, now and forever. I'm proud to be your wife. You were a great leader of men and the leader of our lives."
Known universally for his signature style, Schnellenberger led programs at Miami, Louisville, Oklahoma and Florida Atlantic. In 1983, he led the Canes to a national title after a 41-16 run over five seasons. It is widely believed that the foundation that Schnellenberger laid during this time with the program helped to pave the way for the Miami dynasty that went on to great success under Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis, and Larry Coker.
He left for the head coaching job at Louisville in 1984, where he spent ten seasons compiling a 54-56 record with a 2-0 record in bowl appearances.
In 1995, he took the head coaching job at Oklahoma, where he coached one 5-5-1 season with the Sooners program before resigning unexpectedly citing a change in the climate of the program being needed.
Schnellenberger last coached in 2011 at FAU where he led the Owls for a decade after initially starting off in football operations as he helped them build the program from scratch. When the school president tasked him with finding a coach for the program, Schnellenberger ultimately decided on himself, and he went 58-74 leading the program, highlighted by an 8-5 season in 2007, before stepping away after a 1-11 season in his final season.
In 2014, the stadium at FAU was named in his honor.
Overall, at Miami, Louisville, Oklahoma and FAU, Schnellenberger went 158-151-3 as a head coach at the college level.
Schnellenberger was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, but somehow has not made it to the College Football Hall of Fame despite a widespread belief in the coaching community that his impact on the game has certainly earned him a spot. The Hall of Fame has a seemingly arbitrary .600 winning percentage that seems to be the hurdle for Schnellenberger.
Please join us in praying for his family, and stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.