Famed coach Howard Schnellenberger dies

Sports By Linda Trischitta and David L. Snelling Monday, March 29, 2021

Howard Schnellenberger, the famed college football and NFL coach who lived in Miami Lakes for 30 years, died in Boca Raton on March 27.

He was 87.

Schnellenberger was the star inductee for the Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame class of 2020; the June 2020 ceremony was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Schnellenberger was head coach at the University of Miami from 1979 through 1983 and led the team to the first of its five national championships.

He also was an assistant coach and offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, including the 1972 undefeated team which was led by Don Shula, his friend and fellow Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame enshrinee.

Shula, the NFL’s all-time winningest coach, died in 2020 at the age of 90.

Last year, Schnellenberger said his friendship with Shula dated to the 1950s when they were on the staff of University of Kentucky head coach Blanton Collier, according to a statement released to The Miami Laker by Schnellenberger’s agent.

The gridiron veterans both lived in town.

“Coach Shula and the Shula family have been part of our lives for over 62 years,” Schnellenberger said last year. “We have learned many lessons from each other in all the time we spent together,” Schnellenberger said.

“The memories we created together, including our Miami Dolphins Super Bowl championships and the 1972 undefeated season, are some of life's greatest moments."

The Indiana native said he was honored by the Miami Lakes Hall of Fame induction and had looked forward to seeing old friends again.

“The Miami Lakes community is part of our family history here in South Florida,” Schnellenberger said at the time.

“We called Miami Lakes home for many years, 1969-1998. Our kids grew up here and were part of the Optimist Club. We also attended Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church,” he said about his three-decades-long connection to the town.

Schnellenberger was also a head coach for the Baltimore Colts, Oklahoma Sooners, University of Louisville and Florida Atlantic University.

He was the offensive coordinator under University of Alabama Head Coach Bear Bryant when the Crimson Tide won three national championships in the 1960s.

Schnellenberger and his wife, Beverlee were married 61 years, FAU said.

The couple had three sons, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass was private, according to FAU. The school will hold a celebration of Schnellenberger’s life on a date to be announced.