Football in Boca Raton was born in 2001, but they already have a legend. Coach Howard Schnellenberger built this program from scratch, lifted it to FBS status, achieved two bowl appearances, and rightfully has a statue resting outside FAU Stadium. “Winning In Paradise” is the montra and the new expectation at Florida Atlantic.
Schnellenberger isn’t the only one with a statue worthy of photo opportunities. Cherished mascot Owlsley’s statue stands proudly on campus experiencing several group photos and selfies every day. The real Owlsley swoops through all the pregame tailgates near the stadium entertaining the FAU faithful.
Tailgating at FAU along the stadium’s north side can be easily mistaken for an outdoor house party. Fraternities and various campus groups stake the tents and turn up the speakers. Dancing, DJs and stacks of inexpensive domestic beer are commonplace in what becomes a parking lot mosh pit of wildness. The festivities are so intense that getting fans from the parking lot into the stadium can sometimes be tricky.
The Owl Walk interrupts the party for a few moments. Buses bursting with the Florida Atlantic team ride aside the crowds of tailgaters and unload through the party and into the stadium. It’s a tremendous addition to an already entertaining scene.
The football program at Florida Atlantic may be young, but its spirit is well beyond its years. FAU Stadium is the crown jewel of this gameday scene as the band, Owlsley, and an energetic fan base fill it with pageantry.