On Saturday morning, the college football and NFL worlds lost a beloved figure when a legendary coach passed away.
Howard Schnellenberger, who won the 1983 national title with the Miami Hurricanes, passed away this week, FAU announced in a statement. He was 87 years old.
Schnellenberger got his start as an assistant coach at the collegiate level before making the jump to the NFL. After serving as an assistant for the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins, he found his first head coach job with the Baltimore Colts.
He couldn’t find success with the Colts and eventually went back to life as an assistant for the Dolphins. After spending a few years as the Dolphins offensive coordinator, Schnellenberger found his first college football head coaching job.
Howard Schnellenberger has passed away at 87, #FloridaAtlantic announces. Coached Miami to a national title in 1983 and also coached Louisville, Oklahoma, Florida Atlantic and the Baltimore Colts. Went 158-151-3 as a college coach.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) March 27, 2021
He didn’t have to move far, taking over as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes. In his fifth season with the team, Schnellenberger and the Hurricanes lost their first game of the season to in-state rival Florida. However, the Hurricanes wouldn’t lose again that season, including in the national title game against No. 1 Nebraska.
The Canes survived a furious comeback attempt from the Huskers in the fourth quarter to win 31-30. He sparked a dynasty at Miami that continued under Jimmy Johnson.
After an attempt at coaching in the USFL, Schnellenberger eventually landed back in the college coaching ranks with Louisville. After a long stretch there, he went on to coach Oklahoma and Florida Atlantic.
Our thoughts are with the Schnellenberger family.