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Florida Atlantic Owls football

Florida Atlantic Owls football
40px2015 Florida Atlantic Owls football team
First season 2001
Athletic director Patrick Chun
Head coach Charlie Partridge
2nd year, 3–9 (.250)
Home stadium FAU Stadium
Stadium capacity 30,000
Stadium surface Grass
Location Boca Raton, Florida
League NCAA Division I (FBS)
Conference C-USA
Division East (2013-present)
All-time record 67–88 (.432)
Postseason bowl record 2–0–0 (1.000)
Conference titles 1

Blue and Red

Fight song Florida Atlantic Fight Song
Mascot Owlsley the Owl
Marching band Florida Atlantic Marching Owls
Rivals FIU Panthers

The Florida Atlantic Owls football team represents Florida Atlantic University, a mid-major NCAA Division (FBS) college football team. The Owls are members of Conference USA.


Origins (1998–2000)

Florida Atlantic University football began play in 2001 with Howard Schnellenberger serving as head coach until 2011. After competing their first four years as an NCAA Division I-AA independent, the Owls moved to Division I-A and the Sun Belt Conference. Starting with the 2013-14 school year, FAU athletics have competed in Conference USA.

In 1998, Florida Atlantic University announced it was pursuing the creation of an NCAA football program and that Howard Schnellenberger was going to lead the charge, as director of football operations and head coach. After his success in rebuilding programs at the University of Miami and the University of Louisville, Coach Schnellenberger now undertook the role of building a program from scratch. Much like his time at Miami and Louisville, Coach Schnellenberger did not shy from placing lofty expectations and high goals on his newly created program. Even before FAU would play an intercollegiate game, Coach Schnellenberger explained the goal of FAU football would be to play the best teams it can schedule, in order for the program to aim for a National Championship in Division I-A football. These extreme goals were not unusual from a man like Coach Schnellenberger. At Louisville, facing threats from the administration that the football team would be terminated, Schnellenberger made the bold (and now famous) prediction, "[We are] on a collision course with the national championship. The only variable is time.” [1]

On August 29, 2000, the first practice was held at the Boca Raton campus of FAU, and 164 students showed up to try out for the team. During the August 29, 2000 first practice, dubbed the inaugural scrimmage game, FAU continued the tradition of Homecoming King, this time including the crowning ceremony of the King as part of the half time festivities. The Homecoming King crown was bestowed upon Wayne Burns, having been voted in by the majority of student population from across all the campuses at the time, which totaled five, then running a Q&A gauntlet alongside the top three candidates, conducted by a committee of students and faculty, who then voted to determine if Mr. Burns would move to the winners circle or if the next candidate would get the crown. Mr. Burns, was driven around the scrimmage game field in a convertible Rolls Royce to wave to the 164 students in the stands, many of whom voted for him. Wayne Burns was and is the oldest Homecoming King to ever receive the honor at FAU. Florida Atlantic joined the NCAA Division I-AA as an Independent team for the 2001 season. Its first-ever intercollegiate competition was against Slippery Rock University, which the Owls lost 40-7 in front of 25,632 fans at Joe Robbie Stadium.[2]

Howard Schnellenberger era (2001–2011)

File:Howard Schnellenberger Carrfour.jpg
Coach Schnellenberger (blue jacket)

The team finished its inaugural season at 4-6 and followed the next season at 2-9. Major accomplishments in its first two seasons include the program's first win, which came in its second game, against Bethune Cookman, 31-28, and won in the first meeting with newly created South Florida rival, Florida International University, 31-21.

On September 15, 2007 FAU defeated its first Big Ten opponent with a 42-39 victory over the University of Minnesota.[3] Led by Rusty Smith, FAU beat Troy University in the final game of the 2007 season to become Sun Belt Conference champions and received an invitation to the 2007 New Orleans Bowl, its first ever bowl bid. As a result, in just the seventh year of the football program's history, and the third year playing in Division I, Florida Atlantic set an NCAA record by becoming the youngest program ever to receive an invitation to a bowl game.

On August 11, 2011, Howard Schnellenberger announced he would retire at the end of the season.

Carl Pelini era (2012–2013)

On December 1, 2011 FAU hired Carl Pelini, the Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive coordinator to become their new head coach, to succeed Schnellenberger.

On October 30, 2013, Pelini resigned from his position after admitting to school officials he was using illegal drugs, specifically marijuana and cocaine. He, along with defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis, officially stepped down from their positions only three days before the school's homecoming game, which they won 34-17, under the direction of interim head coach Brian Wright. Under Pelini, the Owls compiled a 5-15 record.

Wright finished the 2012-13 season as the interim head coach, winning the team's last four games and led the Owls to its first bowl-eligible season since 2008-09.

Charlie Partridge era (2014–present)

On December 16, 2013, FAU announced it had hired Charlie Partridge to succeed Wright. Prior to accepting the job at FAU, Partridge was the defensive line coach for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.[4]



Conference affiliations:

Year Record Conference Finish Coach Bowl Poll
2001 4–6 Howard Schnellenberger
2002 2–9 Howard Schnellenberger
2003 11–3 Howard Schnellenberger 4*
2004 9–3 Howard Schnellenberger
2005 2–9 2–5 T-7th Howard Schnellenberger
2006 5–7 4–3 T-2nd Howard Schnellenberger
2007 8–5 6–1 T-1st Howard Schnellenberger New Orleans Bowl
2008 7–6 4–3 T-3rd Howard Schnellenberger Motor City Bowl
2009 5–7 5–3 T-3rd Howard Schnellenberger
2010 4–8 3–5 T-6th Howard Schnellenberger
2011 1–11 0–8 9th Howard Schnellenberger
2012 3–8 2–5 8th Carl Pelini
2013 6–6 4–4 4th (East) Carl Pelini — Brian Wright (interim) -- --
2014 3-9 2-6 7th (East) Charlie Partridge
All-time 69-97 32-43 All-time 4 coaches All-time AP
"Poll" indicates team ranking at end of season from the Associated Press Poll.
*Ranked by the AP Poll for Division I-AA Football.

Head coaches

Seasons Name Tenure Record Pct. Bowls
2001–2011 Howard Schnellenberger 11 years (132 games) 58-74 .439 2
2012-2013 Carl Pelini 1+ years (20 games) 5-15 .250 0
2013 Brian Wright (interim) Interim coach (4 games) 4-0 1.000 0
2014-pres. Charlie Partridge 1 year (12 games) 3-9 .250 0
Total 4 coaches 13 seasons 69-97 .416 2 bowls

Bowl games

Date Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA
December 21, 2007 New Orleans Bowl W Memphis 44 27
December 26, 2008 Motor City Bowl W Central Michigan 24 21
Total 2 bowl games 2-0 Total 68 48

Against Conference USA and the State of Florida

Team FAU Record First Meeting Recent Meeting
Charlotte1 0-0 -- --
FIU 9-4 2002 W 31-21 2014 L 10-38
Marshall 0-2 2013 L 24-23 2014 L 16-35
Middle Tennessee 3-9 2003 W 20-19 2014 L 34-35
North Texas 6-4 2004 W 20-13 2014 L 10-31
Old Dominion2 0-1 2014 L 28-31 2014 L 28-31
Rice 0-1 2013 L 18-14 2013 L 14-18
Southern Miss 1-0 2013 W 41-7 2013 W 41-7
UTEP 0-0 -- --
UTSA 1-0 2014 W 41-37 2014 W 41-37
Western Kentucky2 5-1 2008 W 24-20 2014 W 45-38
Florida 0-2 2007 L 59-20 2011 L 3-41
Florida State 0-0 -- --
Miami 0-1 2013 L 34-6 2013 L 6-34
South Florida 1-3 2002 L 51-10 2013 W 28-10
UCF 0-1 2003 L 33-29 2003 L 29-33

Against nationally ranked opponents

Team Date Ranking Outcome
Bethune-Cookman 9/8/01 22 W 31-28
James Madison 9/14/02 22 L 16-13
Eastern Kentucky 9/21/02 20 L 22-6
Nicholls State 10/5/02 24 L 33-22
Youngstown State 10/12/02 17 L 24-17
Eastern Illinois 11/16/02 3 L 47-6
Illinois State 9/27/03 23 W 28-10
Bethune-Cookman 11/29/03 14 W 32-24
Northern Arizona 12/6/03 16 W 48-25
Colgate 12/13/03 6 L 36-24
Louisville 10/1/05 11 L 61-10
Kentucky 9/29/07 14 L 45-17
South Florida 10/6/07 6 L 35-23
Florida 11/17/07 12 L 59-20
Texas 8/30/08 10 L 52-10
Nebraska 9/5/09 24 L 49-3
Florida 9/3/11 23 L 41-3
Michigan State 9/10/11 16 L 44-0
Georgia 9/15/12 7 L 56-20
Alabama 9/22/12 1 L 40-7
Auburn 10/26/13 11 L 45-10
Nebraska 8/30/14 22 L 55-7
Alabama 9/6/14 2 L 41-0
Marshall 10/25/14 23 L 35-16
All-time 4-20
GREY indicates games played while FAU competed in Division I-AA and against a Division I-AA opponent.

Individual awards and honors

Conference honors

  • Player of the Year
  • Newcomer of the Year
    • Jaquez Johnson (2013 Conference USA, QB, Jr.)
  • Coach of the Year
    • Howard Schnellenberger (2007 Sun Belt Conference)

Post-season bowl honors

  • Hula Bowl Invitations
    • Jared Allen (2005)
    • Chris Laskowski (2005)
    • Cergile Sincere (2008)
  • Texas vs. The Nation Game Invitations
    • Howard Schnellenberger (2009, The Nation Head Coach)
    • Frantz Joseph (2009, MVP)
    • Corey Small (2009)
  • Most Valuable Player Award, Bowl game

Push for a new stadium

See also: FAU Stadium
File:FAUStadium night.jpg
FAU Stadium at night, first game there was October 15, 2011.

Since football's inception at FAU in 1998, Coach Schnellenberger has publicly led a campaign to build a football stadium on FAU's main campus in Boca Raton. In seven seasons of competition, the FAU Owls have called two stadiums "home" (Dolphin Stadium located in Miami Gardens and Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, neither of which are in the same county as Boca Raton). Coach Schnellenberger argued that an on-campus stadium increases popularity of the program and attracts high-caliber recruits.

In 2006, the Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees (FAU BoT) approved the idea of moving forward with plans to build a football stadium on Boca's campus. HKS/Schenkel Shultz are currently designing an open-air, 30,000-seat football stadium (that can eventually be expanded to 100,000 seats) and are due to report back to the FAU BoT on Sept.17th, 2007 [1] to report projected costs and a timetable to break ground on the project.

The stadium is just a part of the university's broader concept of an "Innovation Village", covering the north end of Boca's campus. The Village will include the football stadium, a multi-use Convocation Center for volleyball, basketball and recreation, two parking garages, student housing complexes, an Alumni Center, a wellness and fitness center and strip shopping centers. The Innovation Village will be funded and constructed in stages, with the football stadium being the main concern of the first phase. All relative information on the Innovation Village can be found at FAU's Campus Master Plan (2006–2013).[5]

Current coaching staff

Name Current Title Joined
Alma mater
Charlie Partridge Head Coach 2014 Drake University
Brian Wright Associate Head Coach
Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks
2012 College of Wooster
Jovan Dewitt Co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers 2012 Northern Michigan University
Roger Harriott[6] Assistant Head Coach
Running Backs
2014 Villanova University
Bart Miller Offensive Line 2014 New Mexico State University
Dan Shula Wide Receivers 2014 Dartmouth College

Notable alumni

Future non-conference opponents

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
at Florida at Miami Navy at UCF vs UCF
vs Miami (FL) at Kansas State at Wisconsin at Ball State
vs Buffalo Ball State at Buffalo
at Tulsa



External links