Howard Schnellenberger apparently will become the University of Louisville football coach, unless final negotiations hit a snag Saturday.

The former University of Miami coach will fly here in the morning, said Schnellenberger's spokesman, Ron Steiner, in Miami.

"It's not done. It's not 100 percent," Steiner said. "But it's headed that way -- it would be naive to say otherwise. He has not signed. He has not committed totally to the thing. But if everything goes well at the meeting, he will. He also has the option of walking out and flying back home."

Earlier, Louisville Mayor Harvey I. Sloane was informed by Donald C. Swain, university president, that Schnellenberger had agreed to return to the city of his youth to direct the Cardinals' football program. "It's my understanding from Dr. Swain that Mr. Schnellenberger is coming to Louisville," Sloane said. "I think it's great."

Sloane said he met repeatedly in recent weeks with Schnellenberger and found him "very impressed with Louisville." Sloane said his wife, a real estate agent, had shown several homes to Schnellenberger this week.

"I'm excited about him coming here," Sloane said.

A school spokesman said the personnel committee of the university's athletic association board would meet Saturday afternoon and the full board would sit 30 minutes later to discuss the coaching job vacated by Bob Weber after five years without a winning season.

Swain scheduled a news conference immediately after the second meeting.

Schnellenberger, a native of St. Meinrad, Ind., grew up here. He led the University of Miami to the national championship last season, then quit to take a coaching and executive position in the U.S. Football League. When the USFL Washington Federals' move to Miami fell through, so did Schnellenberger's job; he declined to go to Orlando, Fla., with the team.

A key role in the Louisville negotiations was played by former governor John Y. Brown Jr. He reportedly worked to secure lucrative business-related contacts for Schnellenberger to supplement his income.

Schnellenberger played for Bear Bryant at the University of Kentucky, where he and Brown were classmates, and three years ago rejected offers to leave Miami for his alma mater.

Schnellenberger coached at Miami from 1979 to 1983, compiling a 41-16 record. Previously, he was the Miami Dolphins' offensive coach.

Schnellenberger had been expected to earn more than $3 million over five years with the relocated, renamed Federals before that deal fell through.

In announcing May 25 that he was going to the pros, Schnellenberger said it was one of the toughest decisions of his life. He said "money played a major part" in the decision, as did what he saw as university limitations on his control of Miami football.

He also cited "little things." He asked to have "National Champion" imprinted on his stationery, but was "given the impression" there was no money for it.

He also felt he was not appreciated by the "people in the stadium. I'm a grown man, but I would be lying if I didn't tell you I would have enjoyed that (fan appreciation)." Schnellenberger, Louisville Close To Being a Team From News Services

LOUISVILLE, Nov. 30 -- Howard Schnellenberger apparently will become the University of Louisville football coach, unless final negotiations hit a snag Saturday.

The former University of Miami coach will fly here in the morning, said Schnellenberger's spokesman, Ron Steiner, in Miami.

"It's not done. It's not 100 percent," Steiner said. "But it's headed that way -- it would be naive to say otherwise. He has not signed. He has not committed totally to the thing. But if everything goes well at the meeting, he will. He also has the option of walking out and flying back home."

Earlier, Louisville Mayor Harvey I. Sloane was informed by Donald C. Swain, university president, that Schnellenberger had agreed to return to the city of his youth to direct the Cardinals' football program. "It's my understanding from Dr. Swain that Mr. Schnellenberger is coming to Louisville," Sloane said. "I think it's great."

Sloane said he met repeatedly in recent weeks with Schnellenberger and found him "very impressed with Louisville." Sloane said his wife, a real estate agent, had shown several homes to Schnellenberger this week.

"I'm excited about him coming here," Sloane said.

A school spokesman said the personnel committee of the university's athletic association board would meet Saturday afternoon and the full board would sit 30 minutes later to discuss the coaching job vacated by Bob Weber after five years without a winning season.

Swain scheduled a news conference immediately after the second meeting.

Schnellenberger, a native of St. Meinrad, Ind., grew up here. He led the University of Miami to the national championship last season, then quit to take a coaching and executive position in the U.S. Football League. When the USFL Washington Federals' move to Miami fell through, so did Schnellenberger's job; he declined to go to Orlando, Fla., with the t