BOCA RATON, Fla. — Howard Schnellenberger fought to get Florida Atlantic a football stadium.
And as a tribute, that stadium’s field will soon bear his name.
The university announced Wednesday that the field at FAU Stadium is being renamed Howard Schnellenberger Field. University trustees approved the move, and the school plans a ceremony before the Owls’ home opener against Tulsa on Sept. 13.
“I am humbled beyond belief that the university would bestow this great honor on the Schnellenberger family, and me personally,” Schnellenberger said in a statement released by the school. “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.”
Schnellenberger was essentially the founder of the FAU program, hired to start it from scratch in 1998. Before he retired in 2011, Schnellenberger had already guided the Owls to a pair of bowl wins and gotten the 30,000-seat stadium built.
“Coach Schnellenberger is a legend, a true visionary who always will be synonymous with FAU football,” FAU President John Kelly said. “The university, the community, and fans of college football everywhere look to coach as the consummate leader, and are thankful for all he has done for the sport. I know FAU will always remember this as we cheer our team on the beautiful field that will forever bear his name.”
Schnellenberger won 158 games as a college head coach. He was an assistant coach on the Miami Dolphins’ 1972 undefeated Super Bowl championship team, guided the University of Miami to its first of five national championships in 1983, and went 6-0 in bowl games as a head coach — the most postseason wins for a college coach without a loss.