Herman W. Schnell was an original faculty member of the Department of Physical Education for Men (now the College of Health and Human Performance) when it was established in 1946. He served as the head of the department, which was a required part of student curriculum, until his death in 1958.
Herman Schnell earned his bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in physical education from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Soon after, he was hired as a professor at UNC, where he established the intramural program that is still in use today. During World War II, he joined the military and was instrumental in streamlining the physical training program for boot training. His duty stations included an Army Air Corps base in San Antonio, Texas and the Pentagon. After his service, Schnell was encouraged to join the UF faculty by Raymond Bear Wolf, head football coach for UF and former UNC colleague.
At UF, Schnell was well-respected as a professor, friend and confidant, taking a personal interest in the welfare of his students. In addition to his role as department head of physical education, he coached tennis from 1946-48. He also chaired the committee on the Required Service Program of the national College Physical Education Association, which compiled and publicized current collegiate practices and trends in physical education for men. A plaque in the Florida gym honors Herman Schnell for his career with U