Q&A With National Champion Howard Schnellenberger

Howard Schnellenberger is a former college football head coach that led the University of Miami to a National Championship in 1983. Schnellenberger also coached under Paul “Bear” Bryant as an offensive coordinator and helped lead Alabama to National Championships in 1961, 1964 and 1965. Coach Schnellenberger is featured in the popular ESPN 30 for 30 film “The U”

In this interview Howard and I discuss his relationship with coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant. Our interview was cut short due to Howards inability to hear clearly.

SHAFIN KHAN: Who were some of your football mentors growing up?

HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER: Paul Bryant and Don Shula.

KHAN: You had won three national championships with Bear Bryant, why did you choose to go to the Los Angeles Rams in 1966?

SCHNELLENBERGER: I forgot why I left but it was for my benefit. I think it was the money. We won all those games at Alabama and we didn’t get a big raise after.

KHAN: Were you close with Bear Bryant?

SCHNELLENBERGER: Very close. As close as anyone got to Coach Bryant. He was a monarch. He was the biggest man in the state and the most influential man in the state of Alabama.

KHAN: What was Bear like as a coach?

SCHNELLENBERGER: He was on top of his game plan. He knew what he wanted us to do. He made sure we payed attention to the details in the playbook.

KHAN: Did you keep a relationship with Bear after you left Alabama?

SCNELLENBERGER: I saw him a few times and went to his funeral. That’s about it. We didn’t have a lot of time to see each other.

KHAN: It’s known that Bear like to drink a lot. Did you ever see that affect his ability to coach?

SCHNELLENBERGER: He never got out of control whether he was drinking heavily or not and no one ever had a problem with it.

KHAN: Oklahoma has such a rich football history, why did you quit after one season as the head coach?

SCHNELLENBERGER: They gave me the option to resign but they fired me because I wasn’t one of them. They took me out of there quick.

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