NFL

Howard Schnellenberger dies: College football world pays tribute to legendary coach

The college football world mourns the passing of coaching icon Howard Schnellenberger.

There were few coaches who meant more to more programs than Howard Schnellenberger.

The iconic head coach passed away at the age of 87 in Boca Raton, Florida on Saturday. Schnellenberger was best known for being the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes from 1979 to 1983. He led the Canes to a national championship in his final season at Coral Gables. Without Schnellenberger’s leadership, “The U” never happens and Miami probably stops playing football.

Schnellenberger was initially a tight end for the Kentucky Wildcats from 1952-1956. He began his illustrious coaching career as a position coach at his alma mater in Lexington. Schnellenberger then served as Paul “Bear” Bryant’s offensive coordinator on three national championship teams with the Alabama Crimson Tide. He would then link up with Don Shula in the NFL in the 1970s.

Schnellenberger was famously the offensive coordinator for the perfect 1972 Dolphins team that won the Super Bowl. His success under Shula helped him save what was a lost cause a college football program over in Miami. Schnellenberger later became a coaching legend for the Louisville Cardinals from 1985-1994, as well as start the Florida Atlantic Owls football team.

Those four paid tribute to Schnellenberger on Twitter:

Howard Schnellenberger is an all-time college football program builder

In his unforgettable coaching career, Schnellenberger went 158-151-3 at four stops (Miami, Louisville, Oklahoma, Florida Atlantic). He won a national title with the 1983 Hurricanes, going 6-0 in bowl games and 2-1 in the postseason in Florida Atlantic’s infancy. He led the Owls to their first conference championship in 2007. He even had a two-year stint leading the then-Baltimore Colts.

He won at least 10 games in a season once at Miami (1983), Louisville (1990) and Florida Atlantic (2003). Though a nearly .500 coaching record at the college level may be what has kept him out of the hall of fame, good luck trying to convince Miami, Louisville and Florida Atlantic fans how truly instrumental he was to their programs. He changed the lives of young men for over half a century.

Nobody could take an upstart or rock bottom college team and fix it better than Schnellenberger.

It’s only right that Schnellenberger is posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.


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