Legendary coach Howard Schnellenberger dies at 87

FILE PHOTO: Florida Atlantic University coach Howard Schnellenberger is carried off the field on his players' shoulders after the Owls beat Memphis in the New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 21, 2007. It was FAU's first bowl game in school history.
FILE PHOTO: Florida Atlantic University coach Howard Schnellenberger is carried off the field on his players' shoulders after the Owls beat Memphis in the New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 21, 2007. It was FAU's first bowl game in school history. (AP Photo)

Howard Schnellenberger, who helped jump start the University of Miami football program and built the Florida Atlantic University program from the ground up, has died. He was 87.

FAU made the announcement on Saturday morning.

“It is with heavy hearts that Florida Atlantic University announces, on behalf of the Schnellenberger family, the passing of a dad, a grandpa, a husband and a legendary coach.

Schnellenberger coached UM from 1979-1983, leading the Hurricanes to their first national championship.

After leaving UM, Schnellenberger coached at Louisville and Oklahoma before taking over as the director of football operations at FAU.

He then decided to become the Owls first head coach, a position he held from 2001-2011.

FAU added the following statement from Schnellenberger’s wife, Beverlee:

”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.”


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