Mario Cristobal and Howard Schnelleberger coached under Alabama legends

Feb 2, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Mario Cristobal and late Miami Hurricanes legendary head coach Howard Schnellenberger both coached under Alabama legends. Cristobal said that his time on the Alabama coaching staff was like getting a Ph.D. from Crimson Tide legendary head coach Nick Saban. Schnellenberger was on the Alabama staff under Bear Bryant.

Mario Cristobal was the assistant head coach offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Alabama from 2013 to 2016. After being fired as the head coach at Florida International, Cristobal returned to Miami as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. His tenure under Al Golden lasted just over a month.

The opportunity to coach under Saban was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Cristobal was part of an elite staff at Alabama. Among the other coaches on the Alabama staff with Cristobal were new Florida head coach Billy Napier, Georgia boss Kirby Smart, Mississippi’s Lane Kiffin and Miami defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

Cristobal left Alabama for a chance to become the Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Willie Taggart at Oregon. Taggart left Oregon for Florida State after one season and Cristobal was elevated to head coach. After five years in Eugene Cristobal returned home in December.

Cristobal has built his Miami football staff with the Alabama blueprint. All of the Miami coaching staff have coached under Saban at Alabama or someone who has. Cristobal has quickly built an elite staff that has received praise nationally. Miami recruiting should improve significantly under Cristobal.

Schnellenberger was an All-American tight end/wide receiver in Kentucky from 1959 to 1960. Following his playing career, Schnellenberger became the offensive coordinator under Bryant from 1961 through 1965. Schnellenberger helped Alabama recruit future Superbowl-winning quarterbacks Joe Namath and Ken Stabler.

In five seasons at Alabama, Schnellenberger was a part of three National Championships. Schnellenberger left Alabama in 1965 to become the offensive ends (WRs) coach under Pro Football Hall of Fame coach George Allen with the Los Angeles Rams. Schnellenberger left L.A. to become the Dolphins OC in 1970.

After three years under Don Shula, Schnellenberger became the head coach of the Baltimore Colts from 1973 through the first three games of the 1974 season. Schnellenberger returned to the Dolphins from 1975 through 1978 before being hired as the head coach of the Miami football program.

Schnellenberger is credited as the godfather of the Miami Hurricanes football program. When hired, Schnellenberger said that Miami would win a National Championship within five years. He did exactly that when the Hurricanes won the 1983 National Championship in the fifth season under Schnellenberger.

Schnellenberger deserves the credit for creating the foundation for the greatness the Miami football program achieved during his tenure and the 20 years that followed. Miami won the 1987 National Championship under Jimmy Johnson, 1989 and ’91 titles under Dennis Erickson and 2001 with Larry Coker.

Next. Mario Cristobal using Alabama blueprint for Miami football. dark

The tutelage that Cristobal and Schnellenberger received at Alabama were invaluable. The experience Schnellenberger gained under Bryant set the foundation for the Miami National Championships. Cristobal learning under Saban will hopefully create the same success for Miami in the future.