Sidney Green and Howard Schnellenberger
Though the Owls had made some noise in other sports in recent years, 2001-02 will always be remembered as the season that FAU exploded into the big-time. Schnellenberger's football squad scratched and clawed its way to a 4-6 record in its first year of intercollegiate competition, while Green's team made the NCAA tournament for the first time ever. And though the two men don't work together directly, each says the other has made his job easier.
Schnellenberger's pedigree -- including his 1983 national championship as coach of the Miami Hurricanes -- is not lost on Green. "I tell you, I look at it as a major advantage for the whole department, and the whole school, to have someone here of the stature of Coach Schnellenberger," Green says.
Though he's played under some of the best basketball coaches in both college and professional ranks, Green says he's learned plenty from Schnellenberger: "His professionalism, his work ethic, his honesty, the people he's been able to attract around him.
"The only unfortunate part is that my office isn't right next to his," he adds. If it were? "I'd be in that office every day; I'd be a sponge, trying to get as much knowledge as I can about how to run an intercollegiate athletics program."
Schnellenberger says his first impression of Green was the same as everybody else's: He sure wouldn't want to have to guard the ex-power forward in the low post. "But what was more impressive was that he's an intelligent, articulate young man, with great knowledge of basketball, as player and coach," Schnellenberger says. "It's absolutely remarkable what he has been able to accomplish."
When it is suggested that Green's team's feat must make Schnellenberger feel like he did when he took over at basketball powerhouse Louisville, the veteran football coach lets out a rumbling chortle. He points out that the success of one of the university's teams can only help all the others. "It's immeasurable how significant that achievement was," Schnellenberger says. "That team brought the three letters F-A-U to the national scene. We're all really proud of Sidney."
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