Florida Atlantic University has named Charlie Partridge as its head football coach. Partridge joins FAU after one season as assistant head coach/defensive line coach at the University of Arkansas and brings 17 seasons of collegiate coaching experience to the Owls program.
A native of Plantation, Fla., Partridge is the fourth head football coach in FAU's football program's history. He has coached in nine bowl games and the Division I-AA playoffs during tenures at Drake University, Iowa State University, Eastern Illinois University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Wisconsin.
"We are proud to welcome home Charlie Partridge," said Pat Chun, FAU director of athletics. "Coach Partridge embodies the characteristics and qualities we profiled for our head football coach. First and foremost he is an extraordinary leader. His integrity, commitment to student-athlete wellness and development, family values and passion make him the ideal person to lead our football program. Coach Partridge is committed to academic success, our community and building a culture that will service our university well for years to come. We are thankful he and his wife Julie have chosen to be a part of the FAU family."
Prior to his season at Arkansas, Partridge served for five years at Wisconsin and was part of a coaching staff that led the Badgers to three consecutive Rose Bowl appearances, the first Big Ten Conference team to accomplish that feat in more than 30 years. He was associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator in his final two seasons at Wisconsin after coaching special teams, the defensive line and linebackers at Pittsburgh from 2003-07.
"I'm extremely excited to come back to South Florida and to build upon the program that Howard Schnellenberger started," said Partridge. "I look forward to this opportunity and to working with the high school coaches and the community leaders as we build FAU football."
Partridge began his coaching career at his alma mater, Drake, where he played defensive line from 1992-95. While serving as defensive line coach at Eastern Illinois he coached against the Owls during the second year of FAU's football program.
In addition to Schnellenberger (2001-11), who founded the FAU program and served as its first head coach, Partridge joins Carl Pelini (2012-13) and Brian Wright (2013) as the four coaches who have guided the Owls. FAU finished 6-6 this past season, its first as a member of Conference USA.
Brett Bielema, Head Coach, University of Arkansas
"I am very excited to see Charlie (Partridge) have the opportunity to return home to lead the Florida Atlantic program. He grew up less than 30 minutes from the campus and has long been regarded as an exceptional recruiter in the state of Florida. I have been impressed working with him for the last six years and it has been evident to me his personality, drive and knowledge of the game would provide him the opportunity to be a head coach. He has a unique ability to relate to all of his student-athletes and maintains relationships with them far after their college careers have ended. I would like to thank Charlie for being a critical part of our coaching staffs at two schools and taking an integral role in developing the foundation for future success for the Razorbacks. As he takes his championship coaching experiences back to an area he cares greatly about, I wish him and Julie and their daughters Alexa and Kylee nothing but success."
Barry Alvarez, Former Head Coach and Current Director of Athletics, University of Wisconsin
"I'm very happy for Charlie (Partridge) and this wonderful opportunity. He's an excellent football man. He's a sound coach with a terrific background, having worked with some great football coaches. He has worked his way up through the ranks and really earned this chance. Having grown up in the South Florida area, I know this is a special opportunity for him and something that will help him in recruiting. He did a great job in his time at Wisconsin coaching our defensive line and helping to lead our defense. I think Florida Atlantic made a great hire."
Dave Wannstedt, Former Head Coach, University of Pittsburgh
"I had the opportunity to work with Charlie (Partridge) at the University of Pittsburgh. He was as fine a recruiter and teacher as anyone on my staff. When I look back at Charlie and you throw in all the things of a head coach, he is a complete package. He will represent the University in all the areas on and off the field with nothing but class and integrity."
George Smith, Former Head Coach and Current Director of Athletics, St. Thomas Aquinas High School
"Coach (Charlie Partridge) is from the area. I think FAU and Athletics Director Pat Chun has hit a home run with this hire. He knows the south Florida recruiting in and out and knows the area. He is a roll up the sleeves to get it done kind of guy. He will put together a staff that will be able to make this program very special. What the last 36 hours have been like in the tri-county area and the phone calls I have received about him is unmatched."
Paul Rhoads, Head Coach, Iowa State University
"Charlie Partridge is the ideal hire for FAU, being a hometown product with an extensive background of successful recruiting in South Florida. His combination of intelligence and being a great motivator will undoubtedly lead to success for the FAU football program."