Former University of Miami and Florida Atlantic football coach Howard Schnellenberger is recovering from a head injury after he recently fell at his Boynton Beach home.
After suffering a subdural hematoma, a rare but treatable head injury where a blood vessel bursts that leaves a pool of blood between the brain and its outermost covering, Schnellenberger, 86, has moved to a rehab and recovery center after spending time in the hospital, according to an FAU news release.
Schnellenberger was the Owls’ first coach, from 2001 to 2011, and won the Sun Belt championship in 2007. He was inducted into the FAU Hall of Fame in 2019, and was the Coach of the Year in 1983 when he won a first national championship with the Miami Hurricanes. After turning around the Hurricanes, Schnellenberger later coached at Louisville and Oklahoma before his FAU tenure.
“Our prayers are for a full and speedy recovery,” his wife, Beverlee Schnellenberger, said in a news release. “Howard has been working with a medical staff that has been my lifeline during a time that does not permit visitation.”
Schnellenberger will receive the Paul “Bear” Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award in January. The award recognizes a coach for outstanding career accomplishments both on and off the field. Since beginning his career as a coach in the early 1960s, Schnellenberger compiled a 158-151-3 record.
“I am truly honored to receive the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award,” Schnellenberger said in June. “It is an even greater honor to be placed with past honorees, most of whom have been friends and colleagues at one time or another.”
“I am reflecting on the five years we were with coach Bryant at Alabama, and the three national championships,” he continued. “Coach Bryant was always a mentor and friend, and one of my favorite memories is being tasked by him to recruit Joe Namath. We look for to celebrating this Lifetime Achievement Award with everybody.”
Bill Snyder, who received the award in 2020, recognized Schnellenberger as one of the most successful coaches in football history. Snyder also said the former Owls coach is one of the most committed, strong, disciplined, consistent, and responsible leaders for young men.
Schnellenberger helped build FAU football from scratch after being hired as the Director of Football Operations at age 64. He managed to raise over $10 million in pledges, lobbied the state legislature and selected a head coach – which was himself.
For the best sports coverage in the area, please subscribe.