Former FAU head coach Howard Schnellenberger awarded the 2021 Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award

The award recognizes the on-field achievements and off-field contributions throughout the careers of college football’s finest coaches.

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The Howard Schnellenberger Field was named in Schnellenberger’s honor back in 2014. Photo by Alex Liscio.

Trey Avant, Staff Writer

Legendary FAU football head coach Howard Schnellenberger was awarded the 2021 Bear Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes the on-field achievements and off-field contributions throughout the careers of college football’s finest coaches.

Schnellenberger has ties with the award’s namesake. He served as offensive coordinator for Bear Bryant’s Alabama team, helping them win three national championships.

In 2001, Schnellenberger played a vital role in the creation of FAU’s football program as well as being the program’s first head coach.

Schnellenberger spent the last 11 years of his career as head coach at FAU. He coached 132 games going 58-74. He also coached FAU to two bowl victories and a Sun Belt Conference Championship in 2007.

Schnellenberger got his start with the University of Miami and won a national championship in 1983. His time with the Hurricanes revitalized the program and revolutionized recruiting. He mostly recruited athletes from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, and is a key reason many colleges look at South Florida as a recruiting hot spot.

At the start of the 2019 NFL season, the city of Miami produced 27 players while Fort Lauderdale had 14, which ranked first and third respectively, and Schnellenberger’s insistence on recruiting homegrown talent contributed heavily.

His longest coaching stint was a 10-year tenure with the University of Louisville before coaching for one season at the University of Oklahoma.

In 2014, Schnellenberger’s contributions to FAU culminated in the university naming FAU Stadium after him in his honor.

Overall, Schnellenberger coached 312 games from 1979 to 2011 with a 158-151-3 (win-loss-tie) record, including six bowl victories.

Trey Avant is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @TreyAvant3.