Florida Atlantic Owls football
|Florida Atlantic Owls football|
|Athletic director||Patrick Chun|
|Head coach||Charlie Partridge
1st year, –
|Home stadium||FAU Stadium|
|Location||Boca Raton, Florida|
|League||NCAA Division I (FBS)|
|All-time record||67–88 (.432)|
|Postseason bowl record||2–0–0 (1.000)|
Blue and Red
|Fight song||Florida Atlantic Fight Song|
|Mascot||Owsley the Owl|
|Marching band||Florida Atlantic Marching Owls|
The Florida Atlantic Owls football team represents Florida Atlantic University, a mid-major NCAA Division (FBS) college football team that completed an eight-season tenure in the Sun Belt Conference in 2012. Florida Atlantic joined Conference USA July 2013.
- 1 History
- 2 Records
- 3 Individual awards and honors
- 4 Push for a new stadium
- 5 Current coaching staff
- 6 Notable alumni
- 7 Future non-conference opponents
- 8 References
- 9 External links
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 will compete 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 Lousiville, 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.” 
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.
Howard Schnellenberger era (2001-2011)
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.  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 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 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.
- 2001-2003: I-AA Independent
- 2004: I-A Independent
- 2005-2012: Sun Belt Conference
- 2013-present: Conference USA