Nov 2, 2013; Boca Raton, FL, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls fans cheer on during the fourth quarter against Tulane Green Wave at FAU Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Atlantic to rename football stadium Howard Schnellenberger Field

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Florida Atlantic University announced on Wednesday that it will name it’s football stadium after program founder Howard Schnellenberger.

The on-campus stadium is simply called FAU Stadium, but has been known informally as the “House That Howard Built” since it opened in 2011.

FAU will have a naming ceremony before the home opener against Tulsa on September 13th officially changing the name to Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium.

Schnellenberger was hired by FAU in 1998 to study if the university could support a football team. He deemed it possible, and the Owls first fielded a team in 2001.  He coached the team until 2011, compiling a 41-56 record, but he was 6-0 in bowl games.

He began his career in football in college, where he was an All-American end at the University of Kentucky in the mid 1950′s.  After graduation, he worked as an assistant coach with the Wildcats in 1959 and 1960.

1961 saw Schnellenberger join Bear Bryant’s staff at Alabama as offensive coordinator. He coached on three national championship teams (1961, 1964, and 1965), and was responsible for recruiting Joe Namath to the Tide

In 1966, Schnellenberger moved to the NFL. He was a recievers coach for the Rams before Don Shula hired him as offensive coordinator for the Dolphins in 1972. He was promptly hired as the head coach of the Baltimore Colts the following year. He went 4-13 in his one-plus year in Baltimore before moving back to the college ranks.

Schnellenberger took the head coaching job at the University of Miami in 1979, a team that had nearly been dropped by the school a few years prior. Schnellenberger turned the program around, leading them to a 41-16 record in his five years there, including the 1983 National Championship.

In 1984, the USFL relocated a team to Miami, and lured Schnellenberger as it’s head coach.  This was a disaster, as the franchise never played a game in Miami, and it relocated to Orlando, where the new owners decided not to retain him.

The University of Louisville returned Howie home in 1985, He turned around the Cardinals in his ten years there, winning two bowl games, and producing the schools first ranking at the end of a season.

Since Schnellenberger now had the reputation of a program builder, the Oklahoma Sooners hired him prior to the 1995 season to turn that program around. It didn’t work.  Schnellenberger resigned after just one year, which saw Oklahoma have its first losing record in the conference in 31 years.

He renewed his legacy at FAU.  So much so that they named the stadium after him!

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Florida Atlantic Owls Howard Schnellenberger Louisville Cardinals Miami Hurricanes NCAA Football Oklahoma Sooners

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