Miami, Louisville to Compete Annually for The Schnellenberger Trophy
Courtesy Louisville Sports Commission
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Beginning this fall, the Miami Hurricanes and Louisville Cardinals will compete for a newly created trophy unique to college football – The Schnellenberger Trophy, which features the actual western dress boots, now bronzed, worn by Coach Howard Schnellenberger when he led both programs to national prominence.
The ACC designated the schools as permanent opponents starting in 2023, and the trophy will stay with the winning team each year. Louisville plays the Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., this season on Nov. 18.
“Coach Schnellenberger was known for wearing dress cowboy boots to complement his coat and tie on the sidelines during his coaching tenure at both schools,” said Greg Fante, president & CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission, the organization that conceptualized the trophy. “We are grateful to Coach’s wife, Beverlee, who graciously donated a pair of those boots entrusting us with this valuable memento.”
Schnellenberger was instrumental in elevating both the Miami and Louisville football programs to unprecedented heights. He was the Hurricanes’ head coach from 1979 to 1983 and in his final season led Miami to the first of its five national championships, upsetting top-ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Schnellenberger later became Louisville’s head coach, where he took over a moribund program in 1985 and in five years led the Cardinals to a 10-1-1 record and Fiesta Bowl triumph over nationally ranked Alabama.
“We appreciate the Louisville Sports Commission’s commitment to honor Howard Schnellenberger’s legacy with this trophy,” said UofL Director of Athletics Josh Heird. “Howard Schnellenberger is an iconic name in college football, but more importantly, he’s symbolic of the success and tradition that the University of Louisville and University of Miami football programs have enjoyed on the field. To celebrate the budding rivalry between the two programs with a trophy that bears his name is a fitting way to pay tribute to the contributions he made to both universities. With this game having an impact on the conference standings, this trophy will add to the intensity and importance of each game in the series.”
“Miami is excited to partner with our colleagues at Louisville to present The Schnellenberger Trophy on an annual basis,” said Miami Vice President/Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich. “Coach Schnellenberger made an incredible impact at both institutions, and this trophy will serve as a visual reminder of the legacy he created for the sport he loved.”
The Louisville Sports Commission will present The Schnellenberger Trophy when the Cardinals’ are the host team, and the Miami Touchdown Club will present the trophy when UM is the host team.
A Louisville native, Schnellenberger passed away in South Florida at age 87 on March 27, 2021. In addition to his wife Beverlee, he is survived by his two sons, Stuart and Tim. His eldest son, Stephen, passed away in 2008.