Schnellenberger Highlights Banquet

"There's nothing like college football...the great game of American football, that can act as a conduit and a rallying point for so many different people coming together for a single cause."

Those were the words of legendary college football coach Howard Schnellenberger tonight as he delivered the keynote address before a record crowd at the ninth annual ASU Touchdown Club banquet at the Convocation Center. Schnellenberger won a national championship at the University of Miami in 1983, just a few short years after taking over a program that had been on the verge of being dropped by school administrators.

In 1985, he took over a Louisville program that had not enjoyed a winning season since 1978. A few years later he led the Cardinals to their fourth and fifth bowl victories in school history, both wins, including a 34-7 domination of Alabama in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl.

The retired coach cited his experiences in both communities and schools of what a strong collegiate football program can do.

"It can inspire young students, young football players. It can inspire faculty and staff. It can inspire people that live in the community." He added, "You all are sitting at a wonderful time, to take the next step in your football program."

Schnellenberger also had high praise for ASU Athletic Director Terry Mohajir, whom he worked with at Florida Atlantic University.

"Terry Mohajir joined us at Florida Atlantic some seven or eight years ago and became a major impact on the growth and development of our school during that period of time."

The coach who built the FAU program from scratch and went 3-4 against Arkansas State in Sun Belt Conference play also joked about his past association with the Jonesboro school, particularly citing his team's 3-0 overtime loss to A-State in 2005.

"Never in my life have I been so embarrassed to not be able to not score a point in a football game."