Howard Schnellenberger, 87, coach of Louisville, Miami, dies

Miami – Howard Schnellenberger, who revived football at the University of Miami and Louisville and started a program in Florida Atlantic during his half-century coaching career, died Saturday. He was 87 years old.

FAU announced his death and said he was recently at a care center in South Florida.

Schnerenberger’s career was less than .500, but he was the winner when it came to architecture. His heritage includes campus stadiums in Louisville and Florida Atlantic.

He led the Miami Hurricanes to the beginning of five national championships in 1983, ending the 1990 season with Louisville winning the Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl. He then founded the program in Florida Atlantic and retired as a coach after spending 11 seasons.

Everywhere Schnerenberger taught, he envisioned the winning team as a unity. This is the same as in the 1983 hurricane.

“I think it all goes back to the day they paraded for the National Championship team in Miami,” he once said. “There are 100,000 bystanders, including black families, Cuban families, Hispanics, and Anglo families, celebrating the ball team and community. The football team is from the federal government, cities, and counties. What I tried and what I couldn’t do, I was able to bring the community together. “


Schnerenberger’s career bowl record was 6-0 and he also experienced perfection in the NFL. He was an aggressive coordinator under the Miami Dolphins Donshra in 1972, winning the Super Bowl and finishing 17-0 in the NFL’s only perfect season.

He wore a championship ring on each hand. One for dolphins and one for the ’83 hurricane. The University of Miami team finished first, thanks to the 31-30 upset victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. This game is considered one of the best games in college football history.

“The best thing I remember about the game was how South Florida got together behind our team,” Schnerenberger said ten years later. “At the Orange Bowl that night, it was a charge of electricity that I had never felt there. The energy from the crowd raised the hair behind my neck.”

That was Schnellenberger’s final match against the hurricane. He left to coach the Miami franchise in the US Football League, but the team quickly collapsed before playing the game.


“I don’t regret the decision I made,” he said. “I fully understand that it’s a kind of ridiculous thing, but I made a lot of ridiculous decisions in my personal life.”

Restlessness contributed to Schnellenberger’s decent career record: 158-151-3 in 27 years in college, 4-13 in the NFL Baltimore Colts in 1973-74, 162-164- overall. 3.

Schnerenberger was a pipe smoker with a push broom mustache and a moody baritone that could dominate the room. Still, his spectacular vision in Miami, Louisville, Florida Atlantic caused Snickers.

Miami came first. He took over in 1979 in a debate about whether the dying program should be collapsed. Attendance began to improve when the hurricane reached 9-3 and won the Peach Bowl in the second season.

In this way, the hurricane soon became an NFL feeder school, and more than a decade of domination began. Schnerenberger’s quarterback included Jim Kelly and Bernie Kosar, who continued to star professionally, and Mark Richt, who later head coached Hurricane’s.


Schnerenberger embarked on another reconstruction project when he went to Louisville in 1985, inheriting the program that had endured the sixth consecutive year of defeat. He said the Cardinals will return to the Top 25 and plan for new stadiums, conference membership and series updates with Kentucky. All this happened.

In 1990 the Cardinals won the Fiesta Bowl 10-1-1 and the Liberty Bowl three seasons later. But in 1995 Schnerenberger left for the coach of Oklahoma, and the move was disastrous.

Surrounded by rumors about the athlete’s drinking and treatment, he resigned violently under pressure after going 5-5-1 during the lonely season there. When asked if his experience in Oklahoma afflicted him with football, Schnerenberger replied, “Oklahoma alone afflicted me.”

He returned to South Florida and worked as a municipal bond broker until he was hired by Florida Atlantic to build a program from scratch. He hired himself as a coach and the owls played their first game in 2001.


“This is the most important thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “We are on a collision course with the national championship and time is the only variable.”

That hasn’t happened yet, but Schnerenberger led the owl to two bowl wins and oversaw the opening of the stadium in 2011. He retired following the season.

Schnerenberger was born on March 16, 1934 in St. Mainrad, Indiana, and performed with “Bear” Bryant and Blanton Collier in Kentucky. He began his coaching career as an assistant in Kentucky in 1959 and helped Alabama win three national titles as an assistant in 1961-65.

Survivors include Beverly, a 61-year-old wife. Private memory mass will be held.


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Howard Schnellenberger, 87, coach of Louisville, Miami, dies

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