FAU Football to play on what will now become “Schnellenberger Field”


Schnellenberger won a national championship with the Miami Hurricanes in 1983. Photo by Michelle Friswell

Howard Schnellenberger was the architect of the FAU football program. He raised donation funds. He convinced the school to raise its athletics’ fee to provide more money. Years ago, he stood on tables at local bars to tell students why they should use their Saturday afternoon to come see an FAU football game.

In July 2013, a student by the name of Eric Salzman started a campaign called Name It For Howard, hoping to collect enough funds to change the name of the field. A little over a year later, the campaign did not go anywhere, but Salzman will get his wish nonetheless.

The school is finally repaying Schnellenberger for his contributions by naming the football field in his honor. The Board of Trustees, a 13-member group tasked with making all the important decisions for the university, voted to make the change on Wednesday.

He’ll also have a sign reading “Howard Schnellenberger Field” on each wall. The official ceremony will take place during the first of five home games this year.

The Schnellenberger signage will cost around $32,000, according to FAU Owl Access. The cost will be covered by an anonymous donation that exceeds that amount.

Schnellenberger ended his coaching career in 2011 after a 1-11 season, though he stayed on with the school as an ambassador for the football program.

One of the first priorities Partridge had upon getting his newest job was to reach out to Schnellenberger for coaching and life advice. He met Schnellenberger on the day that he signed his contract this past December.

Schnellenberger attended Partridge’s introductory press conference this past November. A ceremony will be held just before the Owls’ first home game of the year versus Tulsa on Sept. 13. Now, he’ll be able to see his name etched into the field for the rest of his life.

The 80-year-old Schellenberger finished his FAU career at 41-56, credited with two bowl wins and a Sun Belt conference championship. His overall record is 158-151.

“I am humbled beyond belief that the University would bestow this great honor on the Schnellenberger family, and me personally,” Schnellenberger said via press release. “This is probably the highlight of my coaching career. Thanks to the FAU Board of Trustees, the University, the fans, the players and the coaches that were an integral part of this.”