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On this day in sports history

BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE

The Greenville Standard

 

Today I will write about a former Alabama assistant coach Howard Schnellenberger who passed away this past Saturday, March 27.

Schnellenberger was born March 16, 1934, in St. Minard, Ind. He graduated from Flaglet High School in Louisville, Ky., in 1952.

He was the high school teammate of Paul Hornung, Hall of Fame player. He signed with Kentucky in 1952 and played for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant in 1952-53.

Coach Blanton Collier was hired at Kentucky after Coach Bryant left for Texas A&M and Schnellengerger played under Collier in 1954-55.

He was named first Team All-America by the Associated Press. His position was end. He played Canadian Football for several years.

1959-60, Kentucky was his coaching job. He coached receivers and tight ends under Blanton Collier.

1961-65, he was the Alabama offensive coordinator. He coached on three national championship teams, 1961, 1964, and 1965.
1966-69, he was the Rams wide receivers coach under George Allen. 1970-72, he was the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator. The 1972 team only undefeated team in NFL History.

Schnellenberger was Head Coach for the Baltimore Colts for one season and four games from 1975-78.

He was the Miami Hurricanes Head Coach 1979-83. The program was on its last legs. His fifth year, they won the National Championship by beating Nebraska 31-30. He should have stayed.

The USFL made an offer he could not refuse. The deal fell thru.

If he had stayed at Miami, there’s no telling how many national championships, he would have won. Coach Schnellenberger laid the foundation for Miami.

Miami also won the national championship in 1987, 1989, and 1991, with near misses in 1986 and 1988.

The 1987 national championship team, 19 of the 22 starters on the team were Schnellenberger recruits.

In 1985, Schnellenberger took over at Louisville. It was a major reconstruction job. The first three years record was 8-24-1. The fourth year was 8-3 with no bowl.

The fifth year was 6-5. The sixth year, they went 10-1-1 and beat Alabama 34-7 in the Fiesta Bowl.

In 1995, he took over at Oklahoma, went and 5-5-1, and resigned under pressure. A few years later, he started the program at Florida Atlantic from scratch.

They started as FCS Program and their third year made it to the playoffs. They went 11-3 and lost to Colgate 36-24 in the semi-finals.

Two years later, they transitioned to FBS and the Sunbelt Conference. The seventh year, they played in bowl game and won it. It was the youngest program to achieve that.

Coach Schnellenberger retired in 2011 and became the ambassador for the school.

Coach Schnellenberger is survived by his wife, Beverlee, and sons, Stuart and Tim. He was predeceased by his son, Stephen.

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