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Howard Schnellenberger celebration of life scheduled for Sept. 10

Free public memorial to be held at FAU Stadium
Howard Schnellenberger announces retirement from FAU Owls in 2011
Posted at 11:54 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 11:55:01-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A celebration of life in honor of the late Howard Schnellenberger will take place next month at Florida Atlantic University.

The free public memorial will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at FAU Stadium on the field named in Schnellenberger's honor.

Schnellenberger, who died in March at the age of 87, was FAU's first football coach. He also coached Miami to its first national championship in 1983.

Miami Hurricanes head coach Howard Schnellenberger carried off field after winning 1984 Orange Bowl
Miami head coach Howard Schnellenberger is carried off the field by his players after his team defeated Nebraska 31-30 in the 1984 Orange Bowl. The Hurricanes were crowned 1983 national champions.

The celebration of life, organized by FAU and the Schnellenberger family, will feature a yet-to-be-announced slate of speakers with ties to the longtime coach. The ceremony is scheduled on the eve of FAU's home opener.

RELATED: 5 defining moments of Schnellenberger's legacy

Schnellenberger was hired by FAU in 1998, initially tasked with helping the upstart program find a coach and field a team. Eventually, Schnellenberger took the reins as the first head football coach in FAU history when the Owls began play in 2001.

The Owls moved into FAU Stadium in 2011, Schnellenberger's final season with the team. The playing surface was named "Howard Schnellenberger Field" in 2014.

Statue of Howard Schnellenberger at FAU Stadium outside sign for Howard Schnellenberger Field in 2015
A statue of former head coach Howard Schnellenberger greets visitors at FAU Stadium before a game between the Miami Hurricanes and FAU Owls, Sept. 11, 2015.

Schnellenberger led the Owls to back-to-back bowl victories in 2007 and 2008. He retired after the 2011 season with a career record of 158-151-3.