Saturday, the college football world was shaken by the passing of legendary head coach Howard Schnellenberger.
In a coaching career that spanned over 30 years, Schnellenberger turned several struggling programs into winners. The most notable of those was, of course, the Miami Hurricanes, who he coached to their first national title in 1983.
Schnellenberger later got the Louisville Cardinals out of a decade-long slump to a pair of bowl wins in the early 1990s. The 10-1-1 record he led Louisville to in 1990 remained a school record for wins until 2001.
The success he had at Miami and Louisville didn’t follow him to Oklahoma for his one year there. But it did when he joined the fledgling Florida Atlantic football program in 2001. Three years after leading them on their first foray into the FBS, Schnellenberger had FAU as back-to-back bowl winners in 2007 and 2008.
Naturally, social media is filled with people paying tribute to the college coaching legend.
Miami head coach Manny Diaz, former Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar and ESPN’s Bomani Jones all praised him for the profound impact he had on them as well as the sport of football.
RIP to the legend who started it all… pic.twitter.com/Nr8EEvScXc
— Manny Diaz (@Coach_MannyDiaz) March 27, 2021
i'd pay for video of some of howard's home visits at miami.
— bomani (@bomani_jones) March 27, 2021
Thank U Coach Howard words can’t describe the Respect ,Admiration & Luv I have forU & Beverly 💕The words “U Matter” because of U Coach 🏈 U Matter 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/VtEyn2aMwb
— Bernie Kosar (@BernieKosarQB) March 27, 2021
There is also a movement growing for Howard Schnellenberger to enter the College Football Hall of Fame. He went just 158-151-3 in 27 seasons, so it’s been a hard case to make for some time. But with his passing, people are starting to like the idea of such an influential figure being immortalized.
Given what he accomplished for several struggling or infant programs, there’s a strong case to be made there.
Does Howard Schnellenberger deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?