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Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award
The Howard Schnellenberger MVP Award, presented annually to the most valuable player on the winning team in the University of Louisville – University of Kentucky football game, was created in 2010 by the Louisville Sports Commission and received the blessing of Schnellenberger, who has strong ties to both programs and remarkable football credentials.
A Louisville native, Schnellenberger was recruited to UK by the legendary Bear Bryant, earned varsity letters in 1952-53-54-55 and was an All-American tight end for the Wildcats under Blanton Collier as a senior. Schnellenberger was an assistant coach at UK under Collier in 1959 and 1960. As the head coach at Louisville for 10 years (1985-1994), Schnellenberger is credited with rejuvenating the football program and boosting support for a new, on-campus stadium. He led the Cardinals to victories in the liberty and Fiesta Bowls and is the only person enshrined in the athletic hall of fame at both universities.
In 2011, Schnellenberger retired as head coach and director of football operations at Florida Atlantic University, having built the Division I program from scratch starting in 1998. From the 1960s through the 1980s, he was an integral part of four college national championships and two Super Bowl victories. His upstart Miami Hurricanes won the 1983 title and he was offensive coordinator under Bryant at Alabama for titles in 1961-64-65. At Miami, Louisville and FAU, Schnellenberger-coached teams are a remarkable 6-0 in bowl games. He was the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins under Don Shula, including the 17-0 season in 1972, and assistant under George Allen with the LA Rams.
Famed for his offensive football genius, Schnellenberger has influenced a memorable list of quarterbacks, including: Joe Namath, Kenny Stabler, Roman Gabriel, Bob Griese, Earl Morrall, Bert Jones, Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Mark Richt, Browning Nagel, Jay Gruden, Jeff Brohm and Rusty Smith.
Howard and his wife, Beverlee, have two sons: Stuart and Tim. His eldest son, Stephen, passed away March 9, 2008. Grandchildren are Teather Ann, Joey and Marcus.