HOWARD Schnellenberger, the legendary Miami Hurricanes football coach, has died.
The 87-year-old coach’s death was announced in a family statement shared by Florida Atlantic University on Saturday.
Schnellenberger was known for turning around the University of Miami football teamCredit: Getty
“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,” the statement said.
It added that he: ” touched so many lives and left an impact upon those who were viewed by his steely blue eyes or addressed by his signature baritone voice.”
His wife of 61 years, Beverlee Schnellenberger, said the couple shared “a special closeness” as she watched him on the sidelines.
“I will miss his warm heart, his warm hands and soft kisses,” the widow said.
“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,” she added.
Schnellenberger began his career as an assistant coach for the University of Kentucky, later moving to the University of Alabama, according to his profile on Florida Atlantic Unviersity.
He recruited Joe Namath to Tuscaloosa during his time at Alabama, The New York Post reported.
Schnellenberger lifts up the 1983 NCAA National Championship trophy during a game at Miami Gardens on August 30, 2013Credit: Getty
Schnellenberger then went to the NFL – working with teams including the Los Angeles Rams and the Miami Dolphins.
He later went to the University of Miami, where he worked as Head Coach – turning around a team that was said to be “nearing extinction.”
The coach led the team to win a number of titles, including the Orange Bowl against Nebraska.
He then went on to work as Head Coach at the University of Louisville, Oklahoma University for one year, and later Florida Atlantic University, from 1999 to 2011.
Schnellenberger was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, and won a number of other titles including The Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.
Credit: Twitter/ @FredoSauce
Tributes began pouring in for the coach after his death.
Miami Hurricanes football said: “Without him, there is no Miami Football. Howard Schnellenberger leaves behind a legacy more impactful than he’ll ever know.”
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends,” Canes Football added.
Willie Taggart, coach at Florida Atlantic University, wrote: “From the FAU Football Family to the ‘Father of FAU Football’, Coach Howard Schnellenberger, we Thank You. We are fully committed to making your Vision become a Reality. ‘Thank you Coach’.”
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Football running back Alfred Morris said it’s “a sad day for all who knew and love Howard Schnellenberger.”
“Thanks for seeing the value in me as a player/person and helping me achieve the dream I sought after for so long,” Morris wrote.
“The lessons, stories, shenanigans, and such along the way I’ll always cherish. Rest in love legend!