Florida Atlantic head football coach Howard Florida.

Schnellenberger, 77, said in a release that he and his wife Beverlee will continue their relationship with the school in "the most pronounced way."

"I feel this will be the most seamless and best way to formulate a transition from coaching to an ambassador for the university," Schnellenberger said.

He has been FAU's only coach since the program came into existence, guiding its progression from an idea in 1998 to reality. The Owls began play in 2001 as a Division I-AA (FCS) member, then joined the Sun Belt Conference for 2004.

FAU earned its first bowl berth during the 2007 season, when it won the conference title and beat Memphis in the New Orleans Bowl. The Owls then topped Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl the following season.

"He has been the architect and builder of the program and has also grown it to great heights," said FAU athletic director Craig Angelos in a release. "Coach has accomplished many firsts that have created a solid foundation that will always be cherished and remembered for generations to come."

FAU's is not the first program Schnellenberger has helped to build, nor the first team he's helped to find success.

He was part of Bear Bryant's coaching staff at Alabama, winning three national titles in the 1960s, and was the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins when they went 17-0 in 1972.

Schnellenberger became Miami's head coach in 1979, taking over a program that had endured a string of losing seasons. He turned the Hurricanes into a contender, and in 1983 they beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl and won the national championship.

He became Louisville's head coach two years later and brought another program onto the national stage. The Cardinals won two bowl games during Schnellenberger's 10-year tenure.

He coached Oklahoma for the 1995 season before leaving the school.

Schnellenberger holds a 157-140-3 record as a head coach, and a 6-0 record in bowl games.