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Howard Schnellenberger : biography

March 16, 1934 -

Howard Schnellenberger (born March 16, 1934) is a retired American football coach with long service at both the professional and college levels. He was most recently the head coach at Florida Atlantic, having announced his retirement on August 11, 2011, effective at the end of the 2011 season. He previously held head coaching positions with Oklahoma, Louisville, Miami, where his team won a national championship, and the Baltimore Colts. He also worked extensively as an assistant coach at the college and pro levels, including as part of the staff of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. Schnellenberger is also famous for recruiting Joe Namath to Alabama for Bear Bryant in 1961.

Personal

Schnellenberger has been married to Beverlee (née Donnelly) for over 40 years; they met when Howard played for the Toronto Argonauts.Ted Hutton, , Sun-Sentinel, December 10, 2007. His son, Stephen, was diagnosed as an infant with a rare form of endocrine cancer but lived a normal childhood and became an insurance broker in Florida; however, during a 2003 surgery, his heart stopped and he suffered brain damage that left him in a semi-comatose state. Subsequently, Stephen's parents cared for him at their home in Boca Raton, Florida until his death on March 9, 2008.Pete Pelegrin, , The Miami Herald, March 10, 2008.

Schnellenberger is known for his gravelly baritone voice and was known for smoking a trademark pipe, but gave it up after he found out his son was diagnosed with cancer. During his time at Miami and Louisville he was well known for wearing a distinctive suede jacket and a conservative striped tie, echoing the dress of his mentors such as Bear Bryant, though he more often wore golf shirts as coach of FAU.

He is known for his colorful press conference quotes, such that a Louisville weekly newspaper, the Louisville Eccentric Observer, includes a feature called "SchnellSpeak of the Week".

After his retirement, Schnellenberger was retained by Florida Atlantic University and named the first ever "Ambassador at large" his main responsibility is to help drive fundraising efforts for the athletic department. Schellenberger currently resides in Boca Raton, Florida.

Baltimore Colts

Schnellenberger's Colts went 4-10 in his one full season but managed to pull an upset on the defending Super Bowl Champion Dolphins towards the end of the 1973 season, though the Dolphins's second-team played most of the game. After the Colts started the 1974 season 0-3, Schnellenberger was fired and replaced by Joe Thomas. He returned to the Dolphins coaching staff the following year and remained there until he was offered the head coaching job at the University of Miami.

Miami

Schnellenberger arrived to a Miami program that was on its last legs, with the program having almost been dropped by the university just a few years prior. Drawing from the boot camp methodology learned from mentors Bryant and Shula and a pro-style pass-oriented playbook not yet the norm in Division I college football, Miami developed a passing game that allowed them to have advantage over teams not equipped to defend such an attack. By his third season at Miami, the team had finished the season in the AP Poll top 25 twice—something that had not happened there since 1966.

Schnellenberger revolutionized recruiting South Florida high school talent by building a metaphorical "fence around Miami" and recruiting only the "State of South Florida." His eye for talent in this area led to many programs around the nation paying greater attention to south Florida high school prospects. Under his "State of Miami" plan, Schnellenberger's teams took the best from the three-county area around the city, went after the state's best, then aimed at targets among the nation's elite recruits; it became a model of how to recruit in college football.Steve Ellis, , Tallahassee Democrat, October 17, 2007.Matt Hayes, , The Sporting News, February 16, 2004.Bruce Feldman, , ESPN.com, December 10, 2007.

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