Any and all success Florida Atlantic has had, and will continue to enjoy, comes from head coach Howard Schnellenberger. There are other head coaches who might be considered the face of their programs, like Joe Paterno is with Penn State, but without Schnellenberger, there wouldn’t be an FAU football team. He’s the one who built it from the ground up, and he’s the one with the vision to create something out of absolutely nothing.
Schnellenberger also had to be the one who sold the idea of football to the place, and now he has the makings of a Sun Belt juggernaut on his hands. Last year’s conference title and New Orleans Bowl win over Memphis might be just the start.
With 55 lettermen and 20 starters returning, there’s no reason to expect anything less than another big season and yet another stepping stone into the world of the big-time powerhouses. While Schnellenberger might not be able to do for FAU what he did for Miami back in the 1980s, he has something special growing.
To start, this team plays like it believes it can win.