Howard Schnellenberger, Legendary Football Coach, Dead at 87

by John Jamison
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Howard Schnellenberger died Saturday at the age of 87. The accomplished coach was known best for bringing the University of Miami its first championship title. He also contributed to the Miami Dolphins’ undefeated 1972 season.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Howard Schnellenberger’s coaching helped more than 100 players reach the NFL. He led teams at Louisville, Oklahoma, and Florida Atlantic University throughout his prolific career. He created the FAU program from scratch after being hired on as a consultant and he eventually became the inaugural head coach.

Howard Schnellenberger’s Impact on College Football

Fans of ESPN’s “The U” documentary have Coach Schnellenberger to thank for the winning culture at Miami. He set a dynasty in motion and countless players were able to make professional careers that otherwise wouldn’t have had much of a chance. Without his contribution, the landscape of college football would look completely different today.

Coach Schnellenberger played his own college football in his home state of Kentucky for the Wildcats. He got his start in coaching as an assistant at Kentucky before moving on to spend time under legendary Alabama coach, Bear Bryant. As a result, he learned what it takes to win national championships and he won three of them as an offensive coordinator.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel quotes a statement from Coach Schnellenberger’s wife, Beverlee:

Howard always allowed me to be a part of his football life. 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.

The Sentinel also points to the Schnellenberger Family Foundation in Delray Beach and the Howard Schnellenberger Endowed Scholarship Fund at FAU for those who would like to make any contributions.

Howard Schnellenberger will be sorely missed and his legacy will last for years to come.

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