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The schedule, famous footwear, and Jimmy Johnson

Mario Cristobal has his infamous loafers, but did you know that Howard Schnellenberger also had a famous pair of his own?

January 1, 1988: NCAA Orange Bowl Game - Oklahoma Sooner v Miami Hurricanes Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

It’s a slow week in Miami Hurricanes news, so I thought why not go down a weird path and discuss the schedule, Schnelly’s famous pair of loafers, and Jimmy Johnson’s hiring of three different defensive coordinators while at Miami.

Famous Footwear

Mario Cristobal isn’t the only Miami Hurricanes head coach with a famous pair of shoes. Howard Schnellenberger also had a pair of famous loafers of his own, and won two Super Bowls in them with the Miami Dolphins in 1971 and 1972, and a National Championship while wearing them in 1983 with the Miami Hurricanes.

Per a piece in the LA Times titled, “It’s Fiesta Time for Schnellenberger,” from November of 1990, Schnelly’s wife bought him a pair of Italian loafers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama all the way back in 1961. In those lucky loafers, Schnellenberger compiled a record of 129-29-4 as a coach in college football and in the NFL.

HIs loafers were bronzed and hung in his office at Louisville when he attempted to build a dying Cardinals program after his non-stint with the USFL.

At Louisville, Schnelly even tried a pair of cowboy boots for good luck that he retired after a four game losing streak.

“I didn’t want to ruin them,” he explained. “Luck’s a great thing, but you have to give it some help sometimes.”

JJ’s third pick for D.C. was the charm

While we wait for Cristobal to pick in offensive coordinator, Jimmy Johnson once burned through two defensive coordinators on his way to landing on Dave Wannstedt before the 1986 season.

National Champion DC Tom Olivadotti is often blamed for the “Hail Flutie” play against Doug Flutie’s Boston College Eagles in 1984, except Olivadotti was already with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.


In an interesting, although semi depressing piece from Buffalo News, Olivadotti detailed his struggles against the Buffalo Bills while at the time serving as the Miami Dolphins DC. After Don Shula retired, Jimmy Johnson took over the Dolphins and Olivadotti was once again shipped out of Miami by the man they call “JJ.”

‘Canes DC Bill Trout was the man who gave up the Hail Flutie play in 1984 before being fired in a staff overhaul by Johnson. The ‘84 defensive staff had a lot of Schenlly’s holdovers, and Johnson has always gone very on the record about the back stabbing and lack of cohesiveness in 1984.

In 1985, Johnson hired his friend Paul Jette away from Oklahoma State to serve as the ‘Canes DC. Jette lasted one season before returning to his alma mater, the University of Texas. But Jette’s job was to improve the defense and he clearly did.

Detroit Lions vs Miami Dolphins

Johnson’s third DC was the charm as he hired Wannstedt away from USC, where he was the defensive line coach. In the three years Wannstedt was Johnson’s DC at Miami, the ‘Canes allowed only 9.7, 10.4, and 12.5 points per game.

Wanny went on to win the National Championship with Johnson in 1987, and followed him to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys in 1989. The pair won Super Bowl XXVII with Dallas over the Buffalo Bills. It’s safe to say Jimmy’s third time was the right hire as the ‘Canes only lost two games in three seasons with Wanny calling the defense.

The major difference was Johnson thought 8-4 was a bad season that required a massive overhaul, today that would make Mike Ryan build a statue of himself outside of Hard Rock Stadium.

The Skeddy

The ACC computer scheduling algorithm buried the hell out of the Hurricanes. Miami has an early Week 5 “idle” week, before a ‘meh’ game at home against Georgia Tech. Then it’s on like neck bone, SUCKA.

The ‘Canes are in Chapel Hill against the Tar Heels of UNC, host Clemson and UVA, before heading back out on the road The Triangle to face NC State and then over to Tally to face rival Florida State. I would imagine some cooler evenings in Raleigh and Tallahassee in November, so bundle up.

From fellow SOTU blogger Chris Picaro’s piece titled, “How Miami has fared against each 2023 opponent,” I learned the fact that the Hurricanes have a losing record to UNC.. and it stung a little.

Miami then hosts Louisville before heading to Boston College on Thanksgiving weekend to face the Eagles on Black Friday. Miami should finish 9-3 or 8-4 against this ugly slate- with easy wins over the other Miami, Temple, and the BCU fighting non-Ed Reeds and a tough game at home against Texas A&M before the off week.

Way too early prediction: 7-5.