Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather



09.28.05: Storm-weary USM starts tough stretch at ECU ... ECU Letterwinners/Hall of Fame Weekend schedule
09.27.05: Paper: Liberty Bowl seals deal with C-USA, SEC ... Busted legs deplete Memphis quarterback corps
09.26.05: College football headliners: stars & storylines ... Conference USA standings, schedule & scores
09.25.05: Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.24.05: Big names helping UNC-P restore grid program ... Conference USA schedule, standings & scores
09.23.05: NCAA okays instant replay in all 28 bowl games ... Conference USA schedule, standings & scores
09.22.05: C-USA, NFL teams thrown off stride by Rita ... Conference USA schedule, standings & scores
09.21.05: Hurricane Rita threatens disruption of schedule ... Indian mascot ban extended to bowl games
09.20.05: Vandy sheds doormat image in breakout start ... C-USA Standings, Schedule, Scoreboard
09.19.05: Injured Clemson player has spleen removed ... College football headliners: stars & storylines ... C-USA Standings, Schedule, Scoreboard
09.18.05: Scoreboard [C-USA teams & ECU opponents]
09.17.05: Fed judge labels NCAA monopolistic, okays trial ... UTEP wins double OT thriller in C-USA debut ... C-USA schedule, standings, scores
09.16.05: Slive's contract with SEC extended until 2009 ... Conference USA Standings and Schedule
09.15.05: ECU football ticket sales picking up momentum ... Tulane teams on a mission to make impression
09.14.05: Dye headlines ECU's Hall of Fame Class of 2005 ... Ophelia shutters ECU; dormitories remain open
09.13.05: Conference USA Standings and Schedule ... Auburn player learns family escaped Katrina
09.12.05: College football headliners: stars & storylines ... Conference USA Scoreboard and Schedule
09.11.05: SMU springs milestone upset of No. 22 TCU ... Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.10.05: Green Beret parachutist hurt in pre-game jump ... NCAA rebuffs appeal on Tulsa player's eligibility
09.09.05: Tulane-MSU game shifted out of harm's way ...
Ex-Marshall coach latest to pull out of BCS poll
09.08.05: CSTV, DISH satellite service finally strike deal
09.07.05: Pirates capture two of league's three awards ... Tulane teams to carry on at five host schools ... Two players jailed on murder charges
09.06.05: Conference USA Schedule and Scoreboard ... N.C. Central wins thriller in Aggie-Eagle Classic
09.05.05: College football headliners: stars & storylines ... Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.04.05: Dave Odom brings back lessons from Kuwait ... Scoreboard: C-USA teams & ECU opponents
09.03.05: ECU's "Total Access" expected to launch today ... Uprooted Green Wave to "carry the torch" ... Storm-trapped sister of UCF player found safe ... Sun Belt evacuates New Orleans headquarters
09.02.05: Green Wave football team in limbo about future ... Southern Miss sets up ad hoc camp in Memphis ... Thursday night's college football scoreboard
09.01.05: Pirate QB's second shoulder surgery a success ... East Carolina fans on the verge of Total Access

News Nuggets, 09.29.05
 —  —  —  —  —

Previous Day Nuggets...             Next Day Nuggets...

Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Schnellenberger faces program he helped build

LOUISVILLE — Louisville's national championship dreams evaporated in a blowout loss to South Florida.

Now, the 24th-ranked Cardinals (2-1) face the coach who first voiced those aspirations nearly two decades ago.

On Saturday, Howard Schnellenberger will lead the Florida Atlantic team he started from scratch into the $63 million stadium he helped build to challenge the Louisville program he turned into a winner in nine years as coach.

``My emotions are going to be controlled by the game,'' said the 71-year-old Schnellenberger, a Louisville native. ``I don't think I'm going to be nostalgic.''

The pipe-smoking coach with the silver mustache launched Florida Atlantic's program in 1998. When Schnellenberger came to Louisville in 1985, the Cardinals were in a similar situation, six straight losing seasons having made them a college football afterthought.

``I see similarities with us now and Louisville then because Louisville was almost a team without players,'' he said.

Schnellenberger arrived in Louisville fresh off leading Miami to its first national championship. But he drew plenty of smirks when he declared early in his tenure that Louisville was ``on a collision course with the national championship.'' He said his boast was based on his days as a tight end under Bear Bryant at Kentucky, when the Wildcats were Southeastern Conference contenders.

``I knew it could be done in the state of Kentucky because I saw it,'' he said. ``I didn't see any reason why it couldn't happen in Louisville.''

The Cardinals were then playing in ugly, cavernous Cardinal Stadium, a converted baseball venue with beat-up artificial turf. Schnellenberger still convinced recruits that the highest goals were reachable.

``He makes believers out of those guys who don't believe,'' said Louisville quarterbacks coach Jeff Brohm, who played for Schnellenberger from 1990-93. ``That's one of the reasons he's been successful.''

Schnellenberger unveiled plans for a new stadium and mapped out a strategy to get the Cardinals into the Big East — the conference Louisville joined this year. He also pushed to resurrect a series with Kentucky, which restarted in 1994 after a seven-decade hiatus.

``He should feel very good about what he put into place,'' said Bill Olsen, who was Louisville's athletic director from 1980-97. ``He set the stage for us turning the corner.''

The Cardinals weren't tied to any league when Schnellenberger arrived and he wanted to keep that independent status so he could beef up the schedule.

Louisville lost to heavyweights like Miami, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Boston College in his first two seasons, but progress soon followed.

The team went 3-8 his second year, 3-7-1 in his third and 8-3 in 1988, the program's first winning record in 10 seasons. Louisville beat Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl after the 1990 season — the program's signature win to that point — then won the Liberty Bowl three seasons later.

By then, Schnellenberger was spearheading fund-raising efforts to improve the stadium.

``He was a leader on the football field, but he was also a leader in the community, getting the leadership and the fans to believe in his vision,'' Olsen said. ``He deserves a lot of the credit for getting us to where we are today.''

But in 1994 Louisville and five other schools formed Conference USA. Schnellenberger said he was never consulted about the move by school officials, and felt it derailed his rebuilding effort. He left that December to coach Oklahoma (but not before using his leverage to see that East Carolina was excluded from C-USA's charter membership.)

``It was disappointing because I had made that statement about winning the national championship. Some guys had come here just because I had made that statement,'' he said. ``If we could've stayed independent long enough, I thought, by playing some of the top teams in the country, we could've qualified for the Big East. That was the only league I felt we had something to gain from.''

Schnellenberger spent only one season at Oklahoma and moved back to south Florida. Less than a year and a half later, he drew enthusiastic cheers at the groundbreaking ceremony for Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

From a distance, Schnellenberger continued to follow Louisville's progress, including last year's 11-1 campaign that ended with the Cardinals ranked a school-record No. 6.

``I always envisioned Louisville becoming a top-of-the-line football team,'' he said. ``I'm very happy for the university and for all the people who supported that program for so long. Now, that support has started to pay dividends.''

The weekend won't be all business for him. The night before the game, Schnellenberger will be inducted into the University of Louisville's sports Hall of Fame.

Even Schnellenberger concedes the Cardinals will probably beat his 0-4 Owls easily on Saturday. Still, he's been pushing for the game for years and got a call back from Louisville last summer.

``As much as I know we might not be ready to play a team of Louisville's caliber, you will play those games whenever you can get them,'' Schnellenberger said.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:28 PM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.