University of Miami
In 1979, Schnellenberger was tapped to take over the University of Miami, which was a program in turmoil. After going through five coaches in eight seasons, the school’s administration was considering dropping the program to I-AA, but wanted to give one more coach a shot at trying to make the Hurricanes a success.
Schnellenberger took over the Miami program that was near extinction. He installed the pro-style attack with quarter back Jim Kelly and led Miami to an Orange Bowl bid and the national championship four years later. His teams lost only two home games in five years while laying the groundwork for a program that went on to win three more national titles.
Many scoffed when Schnellenberger predicted the Hurricanes would be competing for the national championship, but he quickly had Miami heading in the right direction with his strategy of recruiting what he called “The State of Miami.”
In 1980 Schnellenberger led the Hurricanes to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Peach Bowl their first bowl game in decades, where they defeated Virginia Tech.
After a 9-2 record in 1981 and a No. 8 national ranking, Miami went 7-4 in 1982.
In 1983 Schnellenberger changed the course of college football when he led Miami to its first national championship – the first of five the Hurricanes would win over the next three decades – and began one of the great dynasties in college football.
Miami lost the first game of that season to Florida with freshman quarterback Bernie Kosar making his first start, but didn’t lose again. Miami jumped from No. 5 in the final AP poll of the regular-season to No. 1 by defeating the-No. 1 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 2, 1984
1979: 5-6 (No. 8, Defeated Virginia Tech in Peach Bowl)
1983: 11-1 (National Champions, Defeated Nebraska in Orange Bowl)