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Legacy: Coach Howard Schnellenberger

By DONNA BALANCIA  — Howard Schnellenberger has had his share of victories in Florida. Known as “The Program Builder,” he has brought Florida Atlantic University football to prominence and turned around an ailing University of Miami team, that captured a National Championship in 1984.

“We have to look back on the good times, it’s important,” Schnellenberger said. “We have to reflect on the not-so-good times too.”

Schnellenberger said one of the “not-so-good times” was when he was fired as head coach by then-Baltimore Colts Owner Bob Irsay on national TV.

“I told Bert Jones to go into the game,” Schnellenberger recalled of the 1974 game when Colts were in Phildelphia playing the Eagles. “Then I look up and here comes Irsay coming down the sideline. He started telling me to put in Jones. Well, you don’t tell a general how to fight his battle, and let’s just say we were nose-to-nose, and he fired me. The TV cameras were in real close, you know how they are. Well, what happens to a coach when you’re at an away game and you get fired? You have to find a ride home. I did. With three reporters.”

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