Arkansas’ Assistant Head Football Coach Returns Home after 18 Years


Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has named Charlie Partridge the school's fourth football coach. Partridge, a Plantation High School graduate, is returning to the state after serving as an assistant for 18 years at six different schools.

"I always had an interest in this program," Partridge said. "It's home. ... Having the chance to come back here is beyond description," Palm Beach Post reports.

A native of Plantation, Fla., Partridge served as assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Arkansas last season. Prior to Arkansas, he spent the five seasons at Wisconsin as defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012. Partridge's 17 seasons of collegiate coaching experience also includes tenure at Drake University, Iowa State University, Eastern Illinois University, the University of Pittsburgh.

On Tuesday morning, Partridge, 40, signed a five-year, $2.76 million contract with FAU.

"I'm extremely excited to come back to South Florida and to build upon the program that Howard Schnellenberger started," Partridge said in a statement. "I look forward to this opportunity and to working with the high school coaches and the community leaders as we build FAU football."

Partridge said that his immediate responsibility at FAU would be to bring together a staff that will work together and help the program move in the right direction. He hopes to build on the foundation established by the program's predecessors.

Pat Chun, FAU athletic director, was impressed with Partridge's coaching credentials.

"We are proud to welcome home Charlie Partridge," Chun said. "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.

Partridge succeeds Carl Pelini, who resigned Oct. 30 over allegations of illegal drug use. Chun said that Pelini and an assistant's use of 'illegal drugs," was in violation of their contracts. Apart from illegal drug use allegations, Pelini's employment was terminated for failing to report the conduct of the staff member.

Pelini, who went 5-15 as coach, later denied the accusations, while Pete Rekstis, the defensive coordinator, admitted to using drugs.

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