Schnellenberger Pumps Up Florida Tech Football

By  //  May 26, 2012

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(Images by Amanda Stratford – Courtesy of Florida Tech)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA —  Over 200 enthusiastic supporters of Florida Tech Football gathered on campus to enjoy a celebratory banquet to welcome football to the university with special guest speaker Howard Schnellenger.

Howard Schnellenberger’s tenure as a coach spanned more than five decades in the NCAA and NFL. (Images by Amanda Stratford – Courtesy of Florida Tech)

Dr. Anthony Catanese hosted the evening and opened the banquet with remarks describing his journey to bring college football to Florida Tech.

“This is a very exciting time for us all as we embark on this great journey to bring college football to our campus,” said Dr. Catanese.

“This is a very exciting time for us all as we embark on this great journey to bring college football to our campus.” said Dr. Anthony Catanese.

“Our goal is to win a national championship and be the best we can be. Get your season tickets now so that you can be a part of the first ever Florida Tech game, see the first touchdown and feel the excitement.”

Members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame were in attendance including football stars Bob Anderson and Leon Bright.

‘We Will Win a National Championship’ 

In his remarks, the impressive and humble Steve Englehart, the first ever football coach for Florida Tech, thanked Dr. Catanese for the tremendous opportunity of being selected as the head coach.

Founders Club member Steve Ryland of Beachside Physical Therapy with Florida Tech’s Steve Englehart. (Image for

“This is a great honor for me and I would like to also thank my wife for being so supportive of my career and of my dream to become a successful college head football coach,” said  Englehart.

“We will win a national championship here at Florida Tech.”

The Florida Tech football program will have several scrimmages in the fall of 2012 and will open its first regular season in September 2013 versus Stetson University.

The Panthers will play its first season home games in Palm Bay High School Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 7,500.

One of the Greatest Ever Football Coaches

Howard Schnellenberger’s tenure as a coach spanned more than five decades in the NCAA and NFL.

The Louisville, Kentucky native won a national championship as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes in 1983, and three as an assistant under Paul “Bear” Bryant in 1961 and 1964-65 with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

He also won one Super Bowl as the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator during their perfect 17-0 season in 1972.

As president of Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Catanese hired Schnelleberger as the team’s head coach which won its first ever Sun Belt Conference in 2007 and first of two consecutive bowl victories.

Schnellenberger retired following the 2011 season after being one of the driving forces behind the construction of FAU Stadium which opened in time for his final year.

Founders Club member Dr. Stephen Badolato of Premier Urgent Care with Florida Tech’s Steve Englehart. Image for

“You are all in for a great time with this new football program,” said Schnellenberger.

“To start it from scratch is a lot of fun and you must all pledge to support the efforts of all the coaches, players and administrators to make it successful. If you do, you are all going to be very happy.”

Founders Club Members Recognized

Several “Founders Club” members were honored for contributing $100,000 to the Florida Tech football program.

These included Mahesh Shah of Southeast Petro Distributors/M&R Enterprises, Tom Biddix of the Biddix Charity Foundation,  Dr. Stephen Badolato of Premier Urgent Care and Steve Ryland of Beachside Physical Therapy.

Also Scott Sorensen of Sorensen Moving & Storage, Mike Williams of M.H. Williams Construction, Carol Craig of Craig Technologies, Mike Valletutti of Applied Global Technologies, Chip Lafferty of Hill York, Tony Weight, John and Megan Fielding and Bruce Nelson, Jr of Brevard County Hyundai Dealers.

Mercedes-Benz Melbourne with Owner Shay Rowe was the sponsor of the banquet.


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