Paul Brown

Paul Eugene Brown (September 7, 1908 – August 5, 1991) was an American football coach and executive in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL). Brown was both the co-founder and first coach of the Cleveland Browns, a team named after him, and later played a role in founding the Cincinnati Bengals. His teams won seven league championships in a professional coaching career spanning 25 seasons.

Brown began his coaching career at Severn School in 1931 before becoming the head football coach at Massillon Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio, where he grew up. His high school teams lost only 10 games in 11 seasons. He was then hired at Ohio State University and coached the school to its first national football championship in 1942. After World War II, he became head coach of the Browns, who won all four AAFC championships before joining the NFL in 1950. Brown coached the Browns to three NFL championships – in 1950, 1954 and 1955 – but was fired in January 1963 amid a power struggle with team owner Art Modell. Brown in 1968 co-founded and was the first coach of the Bengals. He retired from coaching in 1975 but remained the Bengals' team president until his death in 1991. The Bengals named their home stadium Paul Brown Stadium in honor of Brown. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

Brown is credited with a number of American football innovations. He was the first coach to use game film to scout opponents, hire a full-time staff of assistants, and test players on their knowledge of a playbook.[1] He invented the modern face mask, the practice squad and the draw play. He also played a role in breaking professional football's color barrier, bringing some of the first African-Americans to play pro football in the modern era onto his teams.[2] Despite these accomplishments, Brown was not universally liked.[3] He was strict and controlling, which often brought him into conflict with players who wanted a greater say in play-calling. These disputes, combined with Brown's failure to consult Modell on major personnel decisions, led to his firing as the Browns' coach in 1963.[4]

Paul Brown
Brown wearing a brown baseball cap on a 1952 Bowman football card
Brown on a 1952 football card
Personal information
Born:September 7, 1908
Norwalk, Ohio
Died:August 5, 1991 (aged 82)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Career information
High school:Massillon Washington
(Massillon, Ohio)
College:Miami (OH)
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career professional statistics
Win–loss record:159–80–5 (NFL)
Winning percentage:.665
Coaching stats at PFR

Early life

Brown grew up in Massillon, Ohio, where he moved with his family from Norwalk when he was nine years of age.[5] His father, Lester, was a dispatcher for the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad.[6][7] Massillon was a shipping and steel town obsessed with its high school and professional football teams, both called the Tigers.[8] Massillon's main rival at both levels was nearby Canton, a bigger and richer city.[9] When the professional teams folded in the 1920s, the rivalry between the high school teams took center stage.[10]

Brown entered Massillon Washington High School in 1922. Although he played football as a child, Brown was undersized for the game at less than 150 pounds and at first focused his athletic energies on the pole vault.[11] Harry Stuhldreher, who went on to be one of Notre Dame's legendary Four Horsemen, was then the high school quarterback.[7] But Massillon coach Dave Stewart saw Brown's determination to be a good vaulter despite his small size and brought him onto the football team; as a junior in 1924, he took over as the starting quarterback. Massillon posted a win-loss record of 15–3 in Brown's junior and senior years as the starter.[12]

Brown graduated in 1925 and enrolled at Ohio State University the following year, hoping to make the Buckeyes team.[7][13] He never got past the tryout phase.[14] After his freshman year, he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he followed Weeb Ewbank as the school's starting quarterback. Under Coach Chester Pittser, Brown was named to the All-Ohio small-college second team by the Associated Press at the end of 1928.[7][14] In two seasons at Miami, Brown guided the team to a 14–3 record.[14] He married his high school sweetheart Katie Kester the following year.[15][16] Brown had taken pre-law at Miami and considered studying history on a Rhodes Scholarship, but after college he instead took his first job as a coach. On Stewart's recommendation, Severn School, a private prep school in Maryland, hired him in 1930.[17]

High school coaching career

Severn School

Brown spent two successful years at Severn. The team was undefeated in his first season and won the Maryland state championship.[18] In 1931, the team's win-loss-tie record was 5–2–1.[18] Brown's overall record was 12–2–1. After his second year, Massillon's head coaching job became available, and Brown took the position.[19]

Massillon Tigers

Brown returned to Massillon in 1932, when he was 24 years old and barely two years out of college. His assignment was to turn around a Tigers team that had fallen into mediocrity over the six seasons since the departure of Stewart, Brown's old coach. In 1931, the year before Brown arrived, the Tigers finished with a 2–6-2 record. Brown's strategy was to build up a disciplined, hard-working team. He fired an assistant early on for arriving at a practice late because he had to work on his farm.[20] No Tigers player was allowed to sit on the bench during a game; Brown made them stand. At Massillon, Brown put in an offense and blocking scheme he learned from Duke's Jimmy DeHart and Purdue's Noble Kizer. He emphasized quickness over strength.[21]

Legendary Sentry at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium
Brown convinced Massillon Washington officials to build a new, bigger football stadium. Completed in 1939, the facility is named Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.

In his first season at Massillon, Brown's team posted a 5–4–1 record, better than the previous year but far from Brown's exacting standards.[22] The Tigers improved again in 1933, ending with an 8–2 record but losing to their chief rivals, the Canton McKinley High School Bulldogs. In 1934, Massillon won all of its games until a 21–6 defeat to Canton in the final game of the season.[23] As the pressure on Brown grew to turn the tables on Canton, Massillon finally accomplished the feat the following year in an undefeated season, the first of several with Brown at the helm.[24]

By then, Brown had put his system into place: a strict, systematic approach to coaching combined with a well-organized recruitment network that drew promising young players from Massillon's junior high school football program.[25] He paid no attention to race, and brought several African-American players onto the team at a time when many northern schools excluded them.[26]

In the ensuing five seasons, Massillon lost only one game, a 7–0 defeat at New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1937 after several players came down with the flu. As the Tigers' prestige grew, Brown in 1936 convinced the school to build a new stadium almost triple the size of the existing 7,000-seat facility. The stadium was finished in 1939, and is now named after Brown.[27] The pinnacle of Brown's career at Massillon was a victory in the 1940 season against Toledo's Waite High School.[28] The Tigers and Waite both went undefeated in the 1939 season, and both claimed the state championship. The teams decided to settle the score the following year, and Brown's team won 28–0.[28] The Massillon 1940 squad is still regarded by historians as one of the best in the history of state high school football.[29]

During his nine years at Massillon, Brown invented the playbook, a detailed listing of formations and set plays, and tested his players on their knowledge of it. He also originated the practice of sending in plays to his quarterback from the sideline using hand signals.[30] His overall record at the school was 80–8–2, including a 35-game winning streak.[31][32] Between 1935 and 1940, the team won the state football championship five times and won the High School Football National Championship four times, outscoring opponents by 2,393 points to 168 over that span. After the early losses to Canton, the Tigers beat the Bulldogs six straight times.[31]

College and military career

Ohio State Buckeyes

Brown's success at Massillon raised his profile in Ohio considerably; people started calling him the "Miracle Man of Massillon."[33] When Ohio State was looking for a new coach in 1940 – Francis Schmidt left after losing to the rival Michigan Wolverines three times in a row – Brown was a candidate for the job. Ohio State officials were skeptical about the 33-year-old making the transition to college football but were worried that they might lose talented high school recruits loyal to Brown if they did not sign him.[34]

Ohio State offered Brown a $6,500 salary ($110,000 in 2018 dollars), about $1,500 above his Massillon pay.[35] He accepted in January 1941 and immediately began to institute his rigorous system.[36] Players were drilled and quizzed, and Brown focused on preparing the freshmen to take starting roles as graduating seniors left.[37] He conditioned his players to emphasize quickness, adopting the 40-yard dash as a measure of speed because that was the distance players needed to run to cover a punt.[37]

Brown's first year at Ohio State was a success. The Buckeyes won all but one of eight games in 1941; the only loss was to Northwestern University and its star tailback, Otto Graham.[38] The final game of the season was a 20–20 tie with Michigan, which the school's supporters saw as a good outcome given that Ohio State was a heavy underdog.[39] The Buckeyes tied for second place in the Western Conference, a grouping of college teams from the Midwestern United States (now known as the Big Ten), and finished 13th in the AP Poll. Brown was fourth in balloting for national Coach of the Year.[40]

Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 threatened to derail the 1942 season, but most college teams played on, adjusting schedules to include military teams composed of players serving in the military.[41] The Buckeyes opened the season by beating a Fort Knox team 59–0, followed by two more wins against Southern California and Indiana University.[42] In the first AP Poll of the season, Ohio State was ranked best in the nation, the first time the school had achieved that mark.[42] The 1942 team was the first composed mainly of players hand-picked by Brown, including Bill Willis, Dante Lavelli and star halfback Les Horvath.[43] In the middle of the season, the Buckeyes lost to the University of Wisconsin after numerous players drank bad water and got sick.[44] That was the team's only loss of the season, which culminated with a 21–7 victory over Michigan. The Buckeyes won the Western Conference and claimed their first-ever national title after finishing the season at the top of the AP Poll.[45]

The 1943 season was a disaster for Brown and the Buckeyes. Depleted by the military draft and facing tough competition from teams on Army and Navy bases, Brown was forced to play 17-year-old recruits who had not yet enlisted.[46] Ohio State had affiliated itself with the Army Specialized Training Program, which did not allow its trainees to participate in varsity sports, while schools such as Michigan and Purdue became part of the Navy's V-12 training program, which did. The Buckeyes ended with a 3–6 record. In three seasons at Ohio State, Brown amassed an 18–8–1 record.[7]

Great Lakes Bluejackets

Brown was classified 1-A in 1944 and commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.[47][48][49] He served at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station outside Chicago as head coach of its Bluejacket football team, which competed against other service teams and college programs.[50] The station was a waypoint for Navy recruits between training and active service in World War II, but its commanders took athletics seriously and saw winning as a morale-booster and a point of personal pride.[51] Brown could have been called up for active duty – Tony Hinkle, his predecessor, was already serving in the Pacific – but the war began to wind down as Brown arrived.[51] Brown had little time to institute his system, and instead adopted Hinkle's offensive scheme, borrowed from the Chicago Bears.[52] He had a smattering of talented players, including defensive end George Young and halfback Ara Parseghian.[52] In 1944, the team lost to Ohio State and Notre Dame, but finished with a 9–2–1 record and was among the top 20 teams in the AP Poll.[53]

In September 1944, Arch Ward, the influential sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, proposed a new eight-team professional football league called the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) to compete against the more established National Football League (NFL) once the war was over.[54] Ward lined up wealthy owners for the new league, which included teams in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Cleveland.[55] Arthur B. "Mickey" McBride, a taxi-cab magnate who made a fortune in the newspaper business, was the owner of the Cleveland franchise.[56] As Brown was preparing for the 1945 Bluejackets season, Ward came on McBride's behalf to ask Brown if he wanted to coach the new team.[57] McBride offered $17,500 a year ($240,000 in today's dollars) – more than any coach at any level – plus a stake in the team and a stipend while he was still in the military.[57]

On February 8, 1945, Brown accepted the job, saying he was sad to leave Ohio State, but he "couldn't turn down this deal in fairness to my family."[58] Brown was still Ohio State's head coach in absentia, and the decision surprised and outraged school officials who expected him to return after the war.[58] The AAFC did not start play until after the war, however, and Brown continued to get ready for the 1945 season at Great Lakes.[59] That year, many of his best players were transferred to bases on the West Coast as the focus of the war shifted to the Pacific.[60] The team started with a 0–4–1 record, but rattled off six straight wins after the war ended and players returned from service overseas.[61] Within weeks of Brown's final Bluejackets game, a 39–7 victory over Notre Dame, he set off for his new job in Cleveland.[62]

Professional coaching career

Cleveland Browns in the AAFC (1946–1949)

By the time Brown arrived in Cleveland, the team had signed a number of players to its roster, including quarterback Otto Graham, whose Northwestern squad had beaten the Buckeyes in 1941.[63] Many of the players came from Ohio State, Great Lakes and Massillon teams that Brown coached. Lou Groza, a placekicker and tackle, played for Brown at Ohio State before the war intervened. Receiver Dante Lavelli was a sophomore on Ohio State's championship-winning team in 1942.[64] Bill Willis, a defensive lineman whom Brown coached at Ohio State, and Marion Motley, a running back who grew up in Canton and played for Brown at Great Lakes, became two of the first black athletes to play professional football when they joined the team in 1946.[65] Other signings included receiver Mac Speedie, center Frank Gatski and back Edgar "Special Delivery" Jones.[66] Brown brought in assistants including Blanton Collier, who had been stationed at Great Lakes and met Brown at Bluejackets practices.[67][68]

The name of the team was at first left up to Brown, who rejected calls for it to be christened the Browns.[69] McBride then held a contest to name the team in May 1945; "Cleveland Panthers" was the winning choice, but Brown rejected it because it was the name of an earlier failed football team. "That old Panthers team failed", Brown said. "I want no part of that name."[70] In August, McBride gave in to popular demand and christened the team the Browns, despite Paul Brown's objections.[71]

For years, however, Brown claimed that the second name-the-team contest yielded the name "Brown Bombers," after then-world heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, whose nickname was "The Brown Bomber." According to this version, Brown wanted his team to have a nickname befitting a champion, and felt the nickname "Brown Bombers" was apropos. The name was reportedly shortened to simply "Browns." This alternate history of the name was even supported by the team as being factual as recently as the mid-1990s,[72] and it continues as an urban legend to this day. However, Paul Brown never held fast to the Joe Louis story, and later in his life admitted that it was false, invented to deflect unwanted attention arising from the team being named after him. The Browns and the NFL now both support the position that the team was indeed named after Paul Brown.[73][74]

With the roster fixed and the team's name chosen, Brown set out to build a dynasty. "I want to be what the New York Yankees are in baseball or Ben Hogan is in golf", he said.[75]

After a training camp at Bowling Green State University, the Browns played their first game in September 1946 at Cleveland Stadium.[76] A crowd of 60,135 people showed up to see the Browns beat the Miami Seahawks 44–0, then a record attendance mark for professional football.[77] That touched off a string of wins; the team ended the season with a 12–2 record and the top spot in the AAFC's western division.[78] The Browns then beat the AAFC's New York Yankees in the championship.[79]

Cleveland won the AAFC championship again in 1947 behind an offensive attack that employed the forward pass more frequently and effectively than was typical at the time.[80] The Browns' offensive success was driven by Brown's version of the T formation, which was gradually replacing the single-wing formation as football's most popular and effective scheme.[81]

The Browns won every game in the 1948 season, a feat that went unmatched until the Miami Dolphins (coached by Brown disciple Don Shula) did it in 1972.[80] Cleveland then won the AAFC championship for the fourth time in a row in 1949. By then, however, the league was struggling for survival, due in part to the Browns' dominance.[82] Attendance at games dwindled in 1948 and 1949 as fans lost interest in lopsided victories, and at the end of the 1949 season the AAFC dissolved. Three of its teams, the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Colts and the Browns, merged into the NFL.[82] The Browns picked up a few good former AAFC players from other teams, including offensive guard Abe Gibron and defensive end Len Ford, but some observers saw Brown's team as the lone standout in an otherwise minor league.[83]

Cleveland Browns in the NFL (1950–1955)

The Browns' first game in the NFL in 1950 was against the two-time defending champion Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia.[84] They won the game 35–10, the first of 10 victories that year.[85] After beating the New York Giants in a playoff game, the Browns went on to win the championship game against the Los Angeles Rams on a last-minute field goal by Groza.[86] "The flag of the late lamented AAFC flies high, and Paul Brown has the last laugh", the Plain Dealer's editorial page proclaimed.[87] Brown said his was "the greatest football team a coach ever had, and there was never a game like this one."[87] In 16 seasons, Brown had led his teams to 12 championships. He was the first head coach to win both a college and NFL championship, a feat not repeated until Jimmy Johnson and later Barry Switzer did it with the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s,[88] and Pete Carroll who accomplished the feat with USC in 2004 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2013.

As the Browns climbed to the top of the NFL, speculation began to mount that Brown might return to the Buckeyes. Wes Felser had resigned as the team's coach, and Brown was seen as a possible replacement.[89] But Brown had also alienated many Ohio State alumni by failing to return to the school after World War II and for signing away players including Groza before their college eligibility expired.[90] He interviewed with the university's athletic board on January 27, 1951, but the board unanimously rejected Brown in favor of Woody Hayes, who was unanimously endorsed by the board of trustees.[91]

Browns coach Paul Brown with players, 1952
Brown on the sideline in 1952 in the driving rain.

The Browns reached the championship each of the next three years, but lost all of those games.[92] In both 1952 and 1953, Cleveland lost championships to the Detroit Lions, who were then on the rise after decades of mediocrity.[93] Before the 1953 season, McBride sold the team to a group of local businessmen led by David Jones for $600,000 ($5.6 million in 2018 dollars). While Brown was upset that McBride did not consult him about the deal, the new owners said they would stay out of the picture and let Brown run the team. Brown saw this as a crucial issue: he felt he needed full control over personnel decisions and coaching to make his system work.[94]

Graham announced in 1953 that the following season would be his last.[95] But the team won the championship in 1954 in a rematch against the Lions, and Brown convinced Graham to come back.[96] Cleveland finished 1955 with a 9–2–1 record, reaching the championship game again.[97] The Browns beat the Rams for their second straight championship, and Graham retired after the season.[98]

Later years in Cleveland (1956–1963)

With Graham gone and the quarterback situation in flux, the Browns ended 1956 with a 5–7 record, Paul Brown's first losing season as a professional coach.[99] In the next year's draft, the team selected Jim Brown out of Syracuse University. As television began to help football leapfrog baseball as America's most popular sport, Jim Brown became a larger-than-life personality.[100] He was handsome and charismatic in private and dominant on the field.[100] Paul Brown, however, was critical of some aspects of Jim Brown's game, including his disinclination to block.[101] In Jim Brown's first season, the team reached the championship game, again against the Lions, but lost 59–14. The Browns did not contend for the championship in the following two years, when a Baltimore Colts team coached by Brown's former protégé Weeb Ewbank won a pair of titles.[102]

As Jim Brown's star rose, players began to question Paul Brown's leadership and play-calling in the late 1950s. The skepticism came to a head in a game against the Giants at the end of the 1958 season in which a win or tie would have given the Browns a spot in the championship game against Ewbank's Colts. In the third quarter, the Browns drove to New York's 16-yard line with a 10–3 lead and lined up for a field goal.[103] But Coach Brown called a timeout before Groza could make the try, which alerted the Giants to a possible fake kick.[104] Brown indeed called a fake, and the holder stumbled as he got up to throw, ruining the play.[104] The Giants came back to win the game by a field goal and reach the championship, while the Browns went home without a spot in the title game for the second year in a row.[105]

Paul Brown blamed the struggles on quarterback Milt Plum, whom the team had drafted in 1957, saying the Browns had "lost faith in Plum's ability to play under stress."[106] But the players were instead losing faith in Coach Brown and his autocratic style.[106] Jim Brown started a weekly radio show, which Paul Brown did not like; it undercut his control over the team and its message. But the coach found it hard to question Jim Brown given his feats on the field, and the tension between the two men grew.[107] The team finished second in its division in 1959 and 1960, even as Jim Brown racked up league-leading seasons in rushing.[108]

Art Modell, a New York advertising executive, bought the team in 1961 for $4.1 million ($34 million today).[109] Modell, who was 35 years old at the time, bought out Brown's 15% stake in the team for $500,000 and gave Brown a new eight-year contract.[110] He said he and Brown would have a "working partnership", and began to play a more direct role than previous owners in the team's operation. This angered Brown, who was used to having a free hand in football matters.[111] Modell, who was single and only a few years older than most players, started to listen to their concerns about the coach.[112] He became particularly close to Jim Brown, calling him "my senior partner".[113] Modell sat in the press box during games and could be overheard second-guessing Paul Brown's play-calling, which drove a deeper wedge between the two men. At that time, Brown was the only coach who insisted on calling every offensive play, making use of rotating guards to ferry coaching instructions.[114] Quarterback audibles to change the play at the line of scrimmage in response to defensive positioning were not permitted.[114] When Plum openly questioned Paul Brown's absolute control over play-calling, he was traded to Detroit.[115]

The conflict between Paul Brown and Modell reached a breaking point when Brown traded star halfback Bobby Mitchell for the rights to Ernie Davis, a Heisman Trophy-winning running back who broke all of Jim Brown's rushing records at Syracuse.[116] Paul Brown did not inform Modell of the move, and Modell only heard about it after getting a call from Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall.[113] Davis, however, was diagnosed with leukemia before the 1962 season.[117] He came to Cleveland to train after the cancer went into remission, but Brown would not allow him to play. Modell, however, wanted to give Davis a chance to play before he succumbed to the disease.[117] Ultimately, the relationship between coach and owner was never repaired, and Ernie Davis never played in a professional game, dying on May 18, 1963.[118]

Departure from Cleveland

As the rift between the players and Brown and between Modell and Brown grew, Modell fired Brown on January 7, 1963.[119] A controversy developed over the timing of the decision amid a local newspaper strike, which limited discussion of the move. A printing company executive, however, got together a group of sportswriters and published a 32-page magazine fielding players' views on the firing. Opinions were mixed; Modell came in for his share of criticism, but tackle and team captain Mike McCormack said he did not think the team could win under Brown.[120] Blanton Collier, Brown's longtime assistant, was named the team's new head coach, and Brown began to plan his next move as he continued to receive an $82,500 salary under his eight-year contract.[121]

In exile after more than 30 years of coaching, Brown spent the next five years away from the sidelines, never once attending a Browns contest. While he was secure financially, Brown's frustration grew with each passing year. "It was terrible", he later recalled. "I had everything a man could want: leisure, enough money, a wonderful family. Yet with all that, I was eating my heart out."[122] Because Brown was still receiving his annual salary and liked to play golf, it was said that the only two people who made more money playing golf were Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.[123]

Brown explored coaching possibilities, but he was mindful not to put himself in a position where his control might be challenged as it had been in Cleveland.[122] In the mid-1960s, the American Football League (AFL), which had formed to compete against the NFL, put a new franchise in Cincinnati.[124] Brown was the third-largest investor in the team and was given the title of coach and general manager. He was also given the right to represent the team in all league matters, a key element of control for Brown.[124]

Cincinnati Bengals

Brown called his new franchise the Bengals because Cincinnati had a team of that name in the 1930s and he thought it would provide a link to the past.[125] Brown's son Mike joined the front office and became his father's top assistant and right-hand man.[125] Brown brought in other assistants including Bill Johnson, Rick Forzano and Bill Walsh. In their first two seasons in 1968 and 1969, the Bengals fared poorly, but the team appeared to be on the upswing as Brown built up a core group of players through the draft, including quarterback Greg Cook.[126]

The Bengals entered the NFL in 1970 as a result of the AFL–NFL merger, and were placed in the newly formed American Football Conference alongside the Browns.[127] A career-ending injury to Cook before the 1970 season forced the Bengals to rely on Virgil Carter, an emergency backup who could make accurate short passes but could not heave the ball like Cook once could.[128] So Brown and Walsh went to work designing an offense around Carter's limitations, a scheme that was the genesis of the West Coast offense Walsh later used to great effect when he became coach of the San Francisco 49ers.[128]

The Bengals lost their first meeting with the Browns 30–27 in 1970, and Brown was booed when he did not come on the field to shake Collier's hand after the game.[129] "I haven't shaken the other coach's hands after a game for years", Brown explained. "... I went up to him before the game, and we did our socializing then."[129] But the Bengals came back to beat the Browns later in the season. Brown called it "my greatest victory."[130]

In his years as the Bengals' head coach, Brown took the team to the playoffs three times, including in 1970. Yet despite finding a franchise quarterback in Ken Anderson, Brown's team never got past the first round of the postseason tournament.[131] Four days after the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs in 1975, Brown announced he was retiring after 45 years of coaching.[132] The game had changed dramatically during his time in the NFL, growing from America's second sport to the country's biggest and most lucrative pastime.[132] Brown was 67 years old.[133]

Later life and death

Paul Brown Stadium
The Bengals' stadium is named after Paul Brown.

Walsh was passed over in favor of Bill "Tiger" Johnson for the head coaching job when Brown retired. In a 2006 interview, Walsh said Brown worked against his candidacy to be a head coach anywhere in the league. "All the way through I had opportunities, and I never knew about them", Walsh said. "And then when I left him, he called whoever he thought was necessary to keep me out of the NFL."[134] Brown stayed on as team president after stepping down as head coach, and the Bengals later made two trips to the Super Bowl, losing both games to Walsh and the 49ers.[135] He rarely appeared in public, however. He died on August 5, 1991 at home of complications from pneumonia.[136]

Brown and Katie had three sons: Robin, Mike and Pete. Following Katie's death of a heart attack in 1969, he married his former secretary Mary Rightsell in 1973.[127] His son Robin died of cancer in 1978.[137] Brown is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Massillon.[138]

Brown was succeeded by his son Mike as Bengals' team president. Subsequently, in 2000, Cincinnati opened a new football facility on the Ohio River, naming it Paul Brown Stadium.[139] Brown was elected in 1967 to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. "I feel he's as fine a coach as the game ever has had", Otto Graham said at the induction ceremony. "I used to cuss him out and complain but now I'm happy that I played under him."[140] In 2009, Sporting News named Brown as the 12th greatest coach of all time; only two other NFL coaches were listed above him.[141]


Although Brown coached dozens of successful teams at the high school, college and professional levels, his controlling personality and sharp criticisms made him unpopular with many players.[3] Brown was a methodical and disciplined coach who tolerated no deviation from his system.[142] His professional teams' planes did not wait for players who were late; anyone who missed the flight was forced to find one on his own and pay a fine to Brown.[143] When the Browns practiced twice in a day in training camp, each session was exactly 55 minutes. Regular practices during the season lasted an hour and 12 minutes.[144] Players who made mistakes in games were held up for ridicule during film review sessions.[143] "There got to be a saying", longtime Browns safety Ken Konz said years later. "'There's a right way, a wrong way and the Paul Brown way.' If you did it the Paul Brown way, you were right. He was a very strict coach, and he expected you to toe the line."[143]

Brown was also a tough negotiator over salaries, often refusing to give players raises despite strong performance.[144] He was called "cold and brutal" by sportswriters, and told players to be "ready to fight for your financial lives".[144] "When I signed with Paul, he felt that $1,000 was $10 million", said Gene Hickerson, a guard who played for the Browns in the late 1950s and 1960s.[144] Brown's stingy approach to salaries frustrated his players and was a motivating force behind the formation of the National Football League Players Association, which represents players' interests in dealings with the league. Browns players including Dante Lavelli and Abe Gibron helped found the union in 1956 along with lawyer and former Browns assistant coach Creighton Miller.[145][146] Brown was so annoyed by the union that he had a 1946 team photo in his office touched up to remove Miller.[147]

Brown's acrimonious departure from Cleveland was another source of criticism. His teams' winning ways had helped obscure his harsh methods and need for control, but Modell's active involvement in the team exposed them.[4][148] Despite that Modell owned the team, Brown refused to cede any authority or be diplomatic in his relationship with Modell.[149] Modell felt Brown was unwilling to adapt to the way football was played in the early 1960s.[150] Many players from that time agreed. "Paul didn't adjust to the changes in the game", former Browns cornerback Bernie Parrish said in 1997. "By 1962, he was more worried about protecting his reputation as the Greatest Coach Who Ever Lived than he was about winning a title. ... By the end of the 1962 season, a lot of us wanted to be traded because we were convinced that we'd never win a title with Paul Brown – and we never believed Paul Brown was going anywhere."[151] After his firing, Brown held a grudge against Modell for the rest of his life. He never forgave Collier for taking over as coach when he left, even though Collier had asked for and received his blessing.[152]

Although he was criticized for his autocratic coaching style and strained relationships, Brown played a significant role in the evolution and modernization of football. The draw play he invented – a formation in which the quarterback drops back to pass but then hands off the ball to a running back – is still in wide use.[153] In his autobiography, Brown said the play came about by accident in 1946 when Graham botched a play and improvised by making a late handoff to Marion Motley, who ran past the onrushing defenders for a large gain.[153] He developed detailed pass patterns that were designed to exploit vulnerabilities in the defense. Brown is also credited with the creation of the passer's pocket, an offensive line protection scheme that is designed to buy a quarterback a few extra precious seconds to find the open receiver.

Brown's main contribution to the game, however, was not to the development of new plays but to the organization and administration of teams.[153] Before Brown, football was seen as a chaotic affair where winning was a product mostly of physical prowess. Few coaches took strategy and preparation seriously.[154] Brown, by contrast, hired a full-time staff of assistants, tested his players on their intelligence and their knowledge of plays, instituted strict organization of practices and analyzed game film to get an edge on opponents.[155] Brown created a detailed system for scouting college talent as a means to improve the Browns' college draft.

The success of this systematic approach forced other teams to follow. Most of Brown's organizational innovations are still in use today.[154] "No one, I mean no one, has ever had total command and respect like Paul Brown", Paul Wiggin, a former Browns defensive end, said in 1997. "I believe that Paul Brown could have been a general in the Army ... you put Paul Brown in charge of anything and he would have been one of those special people who could organize and lead."[156]

Brown's approach influenced future generations of coaches down to the present day. Men he worked directly with, including Don Shula, Weeb Ewbank, Chuck Noll and Bill Walsh, all adopted his system to some degree.[157][158][159]

Brown was more than just a coach. He was a student of the game who had much to do with making professional football the attraction it is today. He made coaching a full-time job for himself and all his assistants. Others had to follow suit or fall behind. So they did the logical thing—they copied his methods, both as a coach and innovator. ..."Paul Brown didn't invent the game of football. He was just the first to take it seriously", declared Sport Magazine in a December 1986 story ... Sid Gillman, Brown's coaching contemporary for many years in the NFL, told the magazine he always felt that "before Paul Brown pro football was a 'daisy chain.' He brought a system into pro football. He brought a practice routine. He broke down practice into individual areas. He had position coaches. He was an organizational genius. Before Paul Brown, coaches just rolled the ball out on the practice field."

— Chuck Heaton, Plain Dealer sportswriter[154]

While Brown's tenure in Cleveland ended in bitterness, the coach was a prolific innovator with the team. One factor in Brown's success was his decision to hire a full-time staff of dedicated position coaches, a break from the norm in an era when most assistants took second jobs in the offseason to make ends meet. Brown also invented the "taxi squad", a group of promising players who did not make the roster but were kept on reserve. Team owner Mickey McBride put them on the payroll of his taxi company, although they did not drive cabs.[160]

Brown sat his players down in classrooms and relentlessly tested them on their knowledge of the playbook, requiring them to copy down every play in a separate notebook for better retention.[161] He was a terse man, and his criticisms of players were often withering and ruthless. He prohibited players from drinking, told them not to smoke in public and made coats and ties mandatory on road trips. They were not to have sex after Tuesday night during the season.[162]

Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown teaching players, 1952
Classroom teaching was a fixture of Paul Brown's strict approach to coaching. Players were not allowed to drink, smoke in public or have sex after Tuesday night during the regular season.

He was the first coach to use intelligence tests to evaluate players, scout opponents using game films and call plays for his quarterback using guards as messengers.[1] He invented the draw play and helped develop the modern face mask after Len Ford and Otto Graham suffered facial injuries.[163] Although critical of Brown's coaching, Jim Brown said he integrated football in the right way:

Paul Brown integrated pro football without uttering a single word about integration. He just went out, signed a bunch of great black athletes, and started kicking butt. That's how you do it. You don't talk about it. Paul never said one word about race. But this was a time in sports when you'd play in some cities and the white players could stay at the nice hotel, but the blacks had to stay in the homes of some black families in town. But not with Paul. We always stayed in hotels that took the entire team. Again, he never said a word. But in his own way, the man integrated football the right way – and no one was going to stop him.[164]

Coaching tree

The following coaches are considered to be in Brown's coaching tree, a grouping of people on whom his approach to the game is thought to have had an influence, either directly or indirectly.[159] This is an excerpt of Brown's tree, which is so large it is sometimes called a "forest".[159] Many of Brown's coaching "descendants" have won NFL titles as head coaches, both before and after the creation of the Super Bowl.

A larger and more extended version of Paul Brown's coaching tree, which could sometimes be called a forest, can be found here.[165] However, this version completely omits any mention of Bill Walsh, or his tree.

Head coaching record

High school

Year School Record Titles
1930 Severn School Prep Admirals 7–0–0 Maryland State Champions
1931 Severn School Prep Admirals 5–2–1
1932 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 5–4–1
1933 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 8–2–0
1934 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 9–1–0
1935 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 10–0–0 National Champions, Ohio State Champions
1936 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 10–0–0 National Champions, Ohio State Champions
1937 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 8–1–1
1938 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 10–0–0 Ohio State Champions
1939 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 10–0–0 National Champions, Ohio State Champions
1940 Massillon Washington HS Tigers 10–0–0 National Champions, Ohio State Champions
Overall High School Record 92–10–3 4 National Titles, 6 State Titles


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP#
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Conference) (1941–1943)
1941 Ohio State 6–1–1 3–1–1 T–2nd 13
1942 Ohio State 9–1 5–1 1st 1
1943 Ohio State 3–6 1–4 7th
Ohio State: 18–8–1 9–6–1
Great Lakes Navy Bluejackets (Independent) (1944–1945)
1944 Great Lakes Navy 9–2–1 17
1945 Great Lakes Navy 6–3–1
Great Lakes Navy: 15–5–2
Total: 33–13–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
CLE 1946 12 2 0 85.7 1st in AAFC Western Conference 1 0 100.0 Beat New York Yankees in AAFC championship game
CLE 1947 12 1 1 89.2 1st in AAFC Western Conference 1 0 100.0 Beat New York Yankees in AAFC championship game
CLE 1948 14 0 0 100.0 1st in AAFC Western Conference 1 0 100.0 Beat Buffalo Bills in AAFC championship game
CLE 1949 9 1 2 83.3 1st in AAFC regular season 2 0 100.0 Beat Buffalo Bills in semifinals
Beat San Francisco 49ers in AAFC championship game
CLE AAFC Total 47 4 3 89.8 5 0 100.0 4 league titles, 4 regular season 1st places in 4 seasons
CLE 1950 10 2 0 83.3 1st-T in NFL Eastern Conference 2 0 100.0 Beat New York Giants in Eastern Conference tie-breaker
Beat Los Angeles Rams in NFL Championship game
CLE 1951 11 1 0 91.7 1st in NFL Eastern Conference 0 1 00.0 Lost to Los Angeles Rams in NFL Championship game
CLE 1952 8 4 0 66.7 1st in NFL Eastern Conference 0 1 00.0 Lost to Detroit Lions in NFL Championship game
CLE 1953 11 1 0 91.7 1st in NFL Eastern Conference 0 1 00.0 Lost to Detroit Lions in NFL Championship game
CLE 1954 9 3 0 75.0 1st in NFL Eastern Conference 1 0 100.0 Beat Detroit Lions in NFL Championship game
CLE 1955 9 2 1 81.8 1st in NFL Eastern Conference 1 0 100.0 Beat Los Angeles Rams in NFL Championship game
CLE 1956 5 7 0 41.7 4th in NFL Eastern Conference - - -
CLE 1957 9 2 1 81.8 1st in NFL Eastern Conference 0 1 00.0 Lost to Detroit Lions in NFL Championship game
CLE 1958 9 3 0 75.0 1st-T in NFL Eastern Conference 0 1 00.0 Lost to New York Giants in Eastern conference tie-breaker
CLE 1959 7 5 0 58.3 2nd in NFL Eastern Conference - - -
CLE 1960 8 3 1 72.7 2nd in NFL Eastern Conference - - -
CLE 1961 8 5 1 61.5 3rd in NFL Eastern Conference - - -
CLE 1962 7 6 1 53.8 3rd in NFL Eastern Conference - - -
CLE NFL Total 111 44 5 70.9 4 5 44.4 3 league titles, 7 conference titles in 13 seasons
CIN 1968 3 11 0 21.4 5th in AFL West Division - - -
CIN 1969 4 9 1 30.8 5th in AFL West Division - - -
CIN AFL Total 7 20 1 26.8 - - -
CIN 1970 8 6 0 57.1 1st in NFL AFC Central 0 1 0.00 Lost to Baltimore Colts in AFC Divisional Playoff
CIN 1971 4 10 0 28.6 4th in NFL AFC Central - - -
CIN 1972 8 6 0 57.1 3rd in NFL AFC Central - - -
CIN 1973 10 4 0 71.4 1st in NFL AFC Central 0 1 0.00 Lost to Miami Dolphins in AFC Divisional Playoff
CIN 1974 7 7 0 50.0 2nd in NFL AFC Central - - -
CIN 1975 11 3 0 78.6 2nd in NFL AFC Central 0 1 0.00 Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Divisional Playoff
CIN NFL Total 48 36 0 57.1 0 3 00.0 2 division titles, 3 playoff appearances in 8 seasons
Official NFL Total 159 80 5 66.5 4 8 .333 3 NFL titles, 10 playoff appearances in 21 seasons
Professional Total 213 104 9 67.2 9 8 52.9 7 league titles in 25 seasons

See also


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  • Cantor, George (2008). Paul Brown: The Man Who Invented Modern Football. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 978-1-57243-725-8.
  • Coughlin, Dan (2011). Pass the Nuts: More Stories About the Most Unusual People and Remarkable Events from My Four Decades As a Sports Journalist. ISBN 978-1-59851-073-7.
  • Heaton, Chuck (2007). Browns Scrapbook: A Fond Look Back at Five Decades of Football, from a Legendary Cleveland Sportswriter. Cleveland: Gray & Company. ISBN 978-1-59851-043-0.
  • Keim, John (1999). Legends by the Lake: The Cleveland Browns at Municipal Stadium. Akron, Ohio: University of Akron Press. ISBN 978-1-884836-47-3.
  • Lebovitz, Hal (2006). The Best of Hal Lebovitz: Great Sportswriting from Six Decades in Cleveland. Cleveland: Gray & Company. ISBN 978-1-59851-023-2.
  • Levy, William (1965). Return to Glory: The Story of the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland: The World Publishing Co. ISBN 978-0-97604-472-7.
  • MacCambridge, Michael (2005). America's Game. New York: Anchor. ISBN 978-0-375-72506-7.
  • Park, Jack (2003). The Official Ohio State Football Encyclopedia. Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-1-58261-695-7.
  • Peterson, Robert W. (1997). Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-511913-8.
  • Piascik, Andy (2007). The Best Show in Football: The 1946–1955 Cleveland Browns. Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58979-571-6.
  • Pluto, Terry (1997). Browns Town 1964: Cleveland Browns and the 1964 Championship. Cleveland: Gray & Company. ISBN 978-1-886228-72-6.
  • Vare, Robert (1973). Buckeye: A Study of Coach Woody Hayes and the Ohio State Football Machine. New York: Popular Library. ASIN B00394GOEK.

External links

1942 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

The 1942 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented Ohio State University in the 1942 Big Ten Conference football season. The team was led by wingback Les Horvath and quarterback and team captain George Lynn. They were coached by Paul Brown. The Buckeyes were awarded the national championship by the Associated Press, the first claimed and generally recognized national title in program history. The 1933 Ohio State team had been awarded a national championship via the Dunkel System, with Michigan, Princeton, and USC also receiving titles from different ranking systems.

The Buckeyes only loss was to the Wisconsin Badgers in what many now refer to as the "Bad Water Game", where half of the Buckeye players contracted an intestinal disorder after drinking from an unsanitary drinking fountain on the train to Madison. The Buckeyes were defeated by the Badgers who were led by Elroy Hirsch. However, the Badgers had a loss and a tie giving Ohio State the Big Ten championship.

Horvath then led the Buckeyes to three scores through the air to upset Michigan and win their first league championship in three years and their sixth in 30 years since joining the Big Ten Conference in 1913. The Buckeyes outscored their opponents on the season by an average score of 34–11 by scoring a total 337 and allowing 114.

1952 Pro Bowl

The 1952 Pro Bowl was the NFL's second annual all-star game which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1951 season. The game was played on January 12, 1952, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 19,400 fans. The National Conference squad defeated the American Conference by a score of 30–13.The National team was led by the Los Angeles Rams' Joe Stydahar while Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns coached the American stars. Los Angeles Rams running back Dan Towler was named the game's outstanding player.Each player on the victorious National roster received $600, while the losing American players took away $500 each.

1953 Pro Bowl

The 1953 Pro Bowl was the NFL's third annual all-star game which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1952 season. The game was played on January 10, 1953, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 34,208 fans. The National Conference squad defeated the American Conference by a score of 27–7.The National team was led by the Detroit Lions' Buddy Parker while Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns coached the American stars. Detroit Lions defensive halfback Don Doll was named the game's outstanding player.

1954 Pro Bowl

The 1954 Pro Bowl was the National Football League's (NFL) fourth annual all-star game which featured the league's outstanding performers from the 1953 season. The game was played on January 17, 1954, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California in front of 44,214 fans. The East squad defeated the West by a score of 20–9.The West team was led by the Detroit Lions' Buddy Parker while Paul Brown of the Cleveland Browns coached the East squad. Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Chuck Bednarik was named the game's outstanding player.

2010 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2010 Cincinnati Bengals season was the 41st season for the team in the National Football League (NFL), and their 43rd overall. The Bengals looked to improve on their 10–6 record in 2009, during which they swept the AFC North for the first time in team history and made the playoffs as division champions. At the conclusion of the season, however, the Bengals finished 4–12 and were unable to qualify for the playoffs.

2013 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2013 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 44th season in the National Football League, the 46th overall, and the 11th under head coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals improved on their 10–6 regular season record from 2012 and clinched the AFC North division title. However, the Bengals lost 27–10 to the San Diego Chargers in the playoffs — the third consecutive season that the Bengals had lost in the Wild Card round. Their training camp was featured on the HBO show Hard Knocks.

2014 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2014 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 45th season in the National Football League, the 47th overall and the twelfth under head coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals qualified for the playoffs for the 4th consecutive season, but lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the first round, extending their playoff losing streak to 7 games, 3rd longest losing streak (in terms of games played) in NFL history behind the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs who both have 8.

2015 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2015 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League, the 48th overall and the thirteenth under head coach Marvin Lewis.

The Cincinnati Bengals got off to a franchise best start after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field by a score of 16–10, improving them to 7–0. Their winning streak ended in Week 10 with a loss to the Houston Texans in Cincinnati. Later in the season, they clinched a playoff spot for a franchise record fifth straight year. They clinched their second AFC North title in the last three seasons with their Week 15 loss at the Denver Broncos because of the Steelers loss to the Ravens the day before. They lost to the Steelers in the Wild Card 16–18 in what's considered one of the biggest meltdowns in Bengals history. This marked the 25th consecutive season without a playoff win for the Bengals. They also became the first team in NFL history to lose five consecutive playoff games in the first round. On a bright note, the Bengals were the only team in the AFC North to beat both Kansas City and Seattle.

Bill Willis

William Karnet Willis (October 5, 1921 – November 27, 2007) was an American football defensive lineman who played eight seasons for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and the National Football League (NFL). Known for his quickness and strength despite his small stature, Willis was one of the dominant defensive football players of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was named an All-Pro in every season of his career and reached the NFL's Pro Bowl in three of the four seasons he played in the league. His techniques and style of play were emulated by other teams, and his versatility as a pass-rusher and coverage man influenced the development of the modern-day linebacker position. When he retired, Cleveland coach Paul Brown called him "one of the outstanding linemen in the history of professional football".Willis was one of the first two African Americans to play professional football in the modern era, signing with the Browns and playing a game in September 1946 along with Marion Motley, a contest which took place months before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers.Born in Columbus, Ohio, Willis attended Ohio State University, where he joined the track and football teams. He was part of a Buckeyes football team that won the school's first national championship in 1942. After graduating in 1944, Willis heard about a new AAFC club in Cleveland led by his old Ohio State coach, Paul Brown. He got a tryout and made the team. With Willis as a defensive anchor, the Browns won all four AAFC championships between 1946 and 1949, when the league dissolved. The Browns were then absorbed by the NFL, where Willis continued to succeed. Cleveland won the NFL championship in 1950.

Willis retired in 1954 to focus on helping troubled youth, first as Cleveland's assistant recreation commissioner and later as the chairman of the Ohio Youth Commission. He remained in that position until his death in 2007. Willis was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 1970s. He married Odessa Porter and had three sons, William, Jr., Clement and Dan.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Their home stadium is Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. Their divisional opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Bengals were founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League (AFL) by former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown. Brown was the Bengals' head coach from their inception to 1975. After being dismissed as the Browns' head coach by Art Modell (who had purchased majority interest in the team in 1961) in January 1963, Brown had shown interest in establishing another NFL franchise in Ohio and looked at both Cincinnati and Columbus. He ultimately chose the former when a deal between the city, Hamilton County, and Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds (who were seeking a replacement for the obsolete Crosley Field) was struck that resulted in an agreement to build a multipurpose stadium which could host both baseball and football games.

Due to the impending merger of the AFL and the NFL, which was scheduled to take full effect in the 1970 season, Brown agreed to join the AFL as its tenth and final franchise. The Bengals, like the other former AFL teams, were assigned to the AFC following the merger. Cincinnati was also selected because, like their neighbors the Reds, they could draw from several large neighboring cities (Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; Columbus, Dayton, and Springfield, Ohio) that are all no more than 110 miles (180 km) away from downtown Cincinnati.

The Bengals won the AFC championship in 1981 and 1988, but lost Super Bowls XVI and XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers. After Paul Brown's death in 1991, controlling interest in the team was inherited by his son, Mike Brown. In 2011, Brown purchased shares of the team owned by the estate of co-founder Austin Knowlton and is now the majority owner of the Bengals franchise.The 1990s and the 2000s were a period of great struggle. Following the 1990 season, the team went 14 years without posting a winning record nor making the playoffs. The Bengals had several head coaches and several of their top draft picks did not pan out. Mike Brown, the team's de facto general manager, was rated as among the worst team owners in American professional sports.

Since the mid-2000s, the team's fortunes have improved. Two years after becoming head coach, Marvin Lewis guided the Bengals to their first winning season and first division title in over a decade. After the acquisition of Andy Dalton as quarterback in 2011, the Bengals had made the playoffs each season until 2016, ranking highly among NFL teams in win totals. The Bengals drafts are also highly touted, leading to a consistency that had long escaped the franchise. However, the team has remained unable to win in the postseason and have not won a playoff game since 1990, which is the longest such drought in the NFL.

The Bengals are one of the 12 NFL teams to not have won a Super Bowl as of the 2017 season; however, they are also one of 8 NFL teams that have been to at least one Super Bowl, but have not won the game.

Cincinnati Ben–Gals

The Cincinnati Ben–Gals are the official cheerleading squad of the National Football League team Cincinnati Bengals. The squad performs a variety of dance moves at Paul Brown Stadium, as well as making off-field appearances at charity events, conventions, grand openings, and trade shows. The squad is one of the first NFL Cheerleading squads, having been created by Bengals founder Paul Brown in the 1968 Cincinnati Bengals season, during the team's time in the American Football League. As of 2015, the squad has 26 members. The squad also has a "Junior Ben-Gals" group, who performs with their adult counterparts at Bengals games. Annually, the squad sends a Ben-Gal to the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, along with cheerleaders from other squads.In 2009, 40-year-old Laura Vikmanis joined the squad, making her the oldest cheerleader in the NFL.

List of Cincinnati Bengals broadcasters

As of 2016, the Bengals flagship radio stations are WCKY, "ESPN 1530" and WQCR-FM, with WLW AM 700 joining in following the end of the Reds' season. Dan Hoard and former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham, who started in 1985, form the announcing team. Most preseason and regular season games, are telecast on WKRC-TV, channel 12, the CBS affiliate. Mike Watts and Anthony Muñoz are the TV announcers for the preseason games, with Mike Valpredo as the sideline reporter. Games that feature an NFC opponent playing at Paul Brown Stadium will be televised on WXIX, channel 19, the local FOX affiliate. WLWT-TV airs games when the Bengals are featured on Sunday Night Football.

Massillon, Ohio

Massillon is a city in Stark County in the U.S. state of Ohio, approximately 8 miles (13 km) west of Canton, 20 miles (32 km) south of Akron, and 50 miles (80 km) south of Cleveland. The population was 32,149 at the 2010 census, which makes it the 44th largest city in Ohio.

Massillon is the second largest incorporated area within the Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the metropolitan area had a population of 404,422 and includes all of Stark and Carroll counties.

The city's incorporated area primarily resides in the western half of Perry Township, with portions extending north into Jackson Township, west into Tuscarawas Township, and south into Bethlehem Township. The village of Navarre borders the city to the south.

Mike McCormack (American football)

Michael Joseph McCormack (June 21, 1930 – November 15, 2013) was an American football player and coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played with the Cleveland Browns from 1954 through 1962 and served as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Colts and the Seattle Seahawks. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

National Football League Coach of the Year Award

The National Football League Coach of the Year Award is presented annually by various news and sports organizations to the National Football League (NFL) head coach who has done the most outstanding job of working with the talent he has at his disposal. Currently, the most widely recognized award is presented by the Associated Press (AP), although in the past several awards received press recognition. First presented in 1957, the AP award did not include American Football League (AFL) teams. The Sporting News has given a pro football coach of the year award since 1947 and in 1949 gave its award to a non-NFL coach, Paul Brown of the All-America Football Conference's Cleveland Browns. Other NFL Coach of the Year awards are presented by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America and the Maxwell Football Club. The United Press International (UPI) NFL Coach of the Year award was first presented in 1955. From 1960 to 1969, before the AFL–NFL merger, an award was also given to the most outstanding coach from the AFL. When the leagues merged in 1970, separate awards were given to the best coaches from the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC). The UPI discontinued the awards after 1996.

Nippert Stadium

Nippert Stadium is an outdoor stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Primarily used for American football, it is the home field of the Cincinnati Bearcats football team. The stadium also hosts soccer, serving as the home of FC Cincinnati of Major League Soccer. Nippert Stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 40,000 people following an expansion and renovation in 2014. In rudimentary form since 1901, permanent concrete stands were built along each sideline for the 1915 season and as a complete horseshoe stadium since 1924, making it the fourth-oldest playing site and fifth-oldest stadium in college football, respectively.

Ohio State Buckeyes football

The Ohio State Buckeyes football team competes as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, representing Ohio State University in the East Division of the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State has played their home games at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio since 1922. The Buckeyes are recognized by the university and NCAA as having won eight national championships along with 39 conference championships (including 37 Big Ten titles), seven division championships, 10 undefeated seasons, and six perfect seasons (no losses or ties). As of 2017, the football program is valued at $1.5 billion, the highest valuation of any such program in the country.The first Ohio State game was a 20–14 victory over Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, on May 3, 1890. The team was a football independent from 1890 to 1901 before joining the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) as a charter member in 1902. The Buckeyes won two conference championships while members of the OAC and in 1912 became members of the Big Ten Conference.Ohio State won their first national championship in 1942 under head coach Paul Brown. Following World War II, Ohio State saw sparse success on the football field with three separate coaches and in 1951 hired Woody Hayes to coach the team. Under Hayes, Ohio State won over 200 games, 13 Big Ten championships and five national championships (1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, and 1970), and had four Rose Bowl wins in eight appearances. Following Hayes' dismissal in 1978, Earle Bruce and later John Cooper coached the team to a combined seven conference championships between them. Jim Tressel was hired as head coach in 2001 and led Ohio State to its seventh national championship in 2002. Under Tressel, Ohio State won seven Big Ten championships and appeared in eight Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games, winning five of them. In November 2011, Urban Meyer became head coach. Under Meyer, the team went 12–0 in his first season and set a school record with 24 consecutive victories, won three Big Ten championships (2014, 2017, and 2018), and won the first College Football Playoff National Championship of its kind in 2014.

Paul Brown Stadium

Paul Brown Stadium is an outdoor football stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the home venue of the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League and opened on August 19, 2000. Named after the Bengals' founder Paul Brown, the stadium is located on approximately 22 acres (8.9 ha) of land and has a listed seating capacity of 65,515. Paul Brown Stadium is nicknamed "The Jungle," an allusion not only to the namesake Bengal tiger's natural habitat, but also the Guns N' Roses song "Welcome to the Jungle".

Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl is a post-season college football all-star game played each January in Mobile, Alabama, which showcases the best NFL Draft prospects of those players who have completed their college eligibility. First played in 1950 in Jacksonville, Florida, the game moved to Mobile's Ladd–Peebles Stadium the next year. Produced by the non-profit Mobile Arts & Sports Association, the game is also a charitable fund-raiser benefiting various local and regional organizations with over US$5.9 million in donations over its history.

In 2007, telecast of the game moved from ESPN to NFL Network. In 2013, Reese's took over sponsorship, starting with the 2014 game. In January 2018, Reese's announced that they were extending their sponsorship of the game; a specific duration was not given.

Family of Paul Brown
Paul Brown
Cleveland Browns, 1946–62
Cincinnati Bengals, 1968–75 (7 total championships with Browns; 4 AAFC titles, 3 NFL titles)
Don Shula
Colts, 1963–69
Dolphins, 1970–95 (2 Super Bowl titles with Dolphins)
Blanton Collier
Browns, 1963–70 (1 NFL title with Browns)
Weeb Ewbank
Colts, 1954–62
Jets, 1963–73 (3 total championships; 2 NFL titles with Colts, 1 Super Bowl title with Jets)
Bill Walsh
49ers, 1979–88 (3 Super Bowl titles with 49ers)
Chuck Noll
Steelers, 1969–91 (4 Super Bowl titles with Steelers)
Bill Arnsparger
Giants, 1974–76
Ray Perkins
Giants, 1979–82
Bucs, 1987–90
Chuck Knox
Rams, 1973–77, 92–94
Bills, 1978–82
Seahawks, 1983–91
Buddy Ryan
Eagles, 1986–90
Cardinals, 1994–95
Mike Holmgren
Packers, 1992–98 (1 Super Bowl title with Packers)
Seahawks, 1999–2008
John Fox
Panthers, 2002–10
Broncos, 2011–14
Bears, 2015—2017
Tony Dungy
Bucs, 1996–2001
Colts, 2002–08 (1 Super Bowl title with Colts)
Marty Schottenheimer
Browns, 1984–88
Chiefs, 1989–98
Redskins, 2001
Chargers, 2002–06
Bill Parcells
Giants, 1983–90 (2 Super Bowl titles with Giants)
Patriots, 1993–96
Jets, 1997–99
Cowboys, 2003–06
Jeff Fisher
Oilers, 1994–96
Titans, 1997–2010
Rams, 2012–2016
Jon Gruden
Raiders, 1998–2001, 2018-
Bucs, 2002–08 (1 Super Bowl title with Bucs)
Andy Reid
Eagles, 1999–2012
Chiefs, 2013–
Lovie Smith
Bears, 2004–12,
Bucs 2014–2016
Mike Tomlin
Steelers, 2007– (1 Super Bowl title with Steelers)
Bill Cowher
Steelers, 1992–2006 (1 Super Bowl title with Steelers)
Bill Belichick
Browns, 1991–95
Patriots, 2000– (6 Super Bowl titles with Patriots)
Tom Coughlin
Jaguars, 1995–2002
Giants, 2004–2015 (2 Super Bowl titles with Giants)
Marvin Lewis
Bengals, 2003-2018
Paul Brown

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