|Today, the Miami community lost a legend. Howard Schnellenberger stands out as a man who built us up, as a university and as a city. He understood the power of bold vision and hard work.
He is best known for leading the Miami Hurricanes to our first national championship in 1983—and the start of a college football powerhouse—and prior to that had been Don Shula’s offensive coordinator during the Miami Dolphins’ perfect 1972 season.
Coaches, players, and colleagues will miss his booming presence and the forthright way he called situations both for what they were and what they could be. In reporting on his passing, the Associated Press recalled the impact leading our program had on Coach Schnellenberger:
“Everywhere Schnellenberger coached, he envisioned a winning team as a unifying force, the way it was with the ’83 Hurricanes. ‘I think it all goes back to the day they had a parade in Miami for the national championship team,’ he once said. ‘I saw the people on the sidelines—black families, Cuban families, Hispanics and Anglo families—all there, 100,000 strong, celebrating their ball team and community. That football team was able to do something the federal government, city and county tried to do and couldn’t: bring the community together.’”
As we carry on through a time of palpable division in society, his passing draws us together in grief—and in hope. His spirit of believing in possibilities, chasing hard after ideals, and relying on unity through adversity will carry on forever at the U.
Felicia and I join generations of ’Canes around the world in wishing Coach Schnellenberger’s beloved wife, Beverlee, their beautiful family, and all of their friends strength and peace through this difficult loss.