Howard Schnellenberger’s Legacy Gets a Shine This Postseason

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Howard Schnellenberger’s house is like a museum. Among its items are a cartoon signed by George H.W. Bush; a note from Burt Reynolds, the movie star and former Florida State halfback; and a jersey from perhaps the greatest quarterback Schnellenberger coached, Joe Namath.

Schnellenberger’s nearly six-decade career as a football coach is a sepia-toned highlight reel. He was in so many special and memorable places: He is like the Forrest Gump of football, except he actually would have coached the fictional Gump when the latter was returning kicks for Alabama. More than any other, this season has brought home how large a role Schnellenberger has played in shaping the landscape of modern college football.

Miami, the program he transformed from a dilapidated reclamation project into a world-conquering squad known as The U, faces Wisconsin on Saturday night in the Orange Bowl to cap its best season in nearly 15 years. Another rags-to-riches project of his, Louisville, will complete its eighth straight winning season versus Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl, also on Saturday. Florida Atlantic, the football program he started in 2000, demolished Akron, 50-3, in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 19, to finish 11-3 under its first-year head coach, Lane Kiffin……