88 Facts About Paul Brown


Paul Eugene Brown was an American football coach and executive in the All-America Football Conference and National Football League.


Paul Brown's teams won seven league championships in a professional coaching career spanning 25 seasons.


Paul 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.


Paul Brown was then hired at Ohio State University and coached the school to its first national football championship in 1942.


In 1968, Paul Brown co-founded and was the first coach of the Bengals.


Paul Brown retired from coaching in 1975 but remained the Bengals' team president until his death in 1991.


Paul Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

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Paul Brown is credited with a number of American football innovations.


Paul Brown 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.


Paul Brown invented the modern face mask, the practice squad and the draw play.


Paul Brown played a role in breaking professional football's color barrier, bringing the first African-Americans to play pro football in the modern era onto his teams.


Paul Brown was strict and controlling, which often brought him into conflict with players who wanted a greater say in play-calling.


Paul Brown grew up in Massillon, Ohio, where he moved with his family from Norwalk when he was nine years of age.


Paul Brown's father, Lester, was a dispatcher for the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad.


Paul Brown graduated in 1925 and enrolled at Ohio State University the following year, hoping to make the Buckeyes team.


Under Coach Chester Pittser, Paul Brown was named to the All-Ohio small-college second team by the Associated Press at the end of 1928.


Paul Brown was a member of the Kappa chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon.


Paul Brown married his high school sweetheart Katie Kester the following year.


Paul 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.


Paul Brown returned to Massillon in 1932, when he was 24 years old and barely two years out of college.


Paul Brown's 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.


Paul Brown's strategy was to build up a disciplined, hard-working team.


Paul Brown fired an assistant early on for arriving at a practice late because he had to work on his farm.


At Massillon, Paul Brown put in an offense and blocking scheme he learned from Duke's Jimmy DeHart and Purdue's Noble Kizer.


Paul Brown paid no attention to race, and brought several African-American players onto the team at a time when many northern schools excluded them.

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The pinnacle of Paul Brown's career at Massillon was a victory in the 1940 season against Toledo's Waite High School.


Paul Brown originated the practice of sending in plays to his quarterback from the sideline using hand signals.


Paul Brown accepted in January 1941 and immediately began to institute his rigorous system.


Players were drilled and quizzed, and Paul Brown focused on preparing the freshmen to take starting roles as graduating seniors left.


Paul Brown 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.


Paul Brown was fourth in balloting for national Coach of the Year.


The 1942 team was the first composed mainly of players hand-picked by Paul Brown, including Bill Willis, Dante Lavelli and star halfback Les Horvath.


Paul Brown was classified 1-A in 1944 and commissioned as a lieutenant in the US Navy.


Paul Brown 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.


Paul Brown had little time to institute his system, and instead adopted Hinkle's offensive scheme, borrowed from the Chicago Bears.


Paul Brown had a smattering of talented players, including defensive end George Young and halfback Ara Parseghian.


Paul Brown received a stake in the team and a stipend while he was still in the military.


The AAFC did not start play until after the war and Paul Brown continued to get ready for the 1945 season at Great Lakes.


Bill Willis, a defensive lineman whom Paul Brown coached at Ohio State, and Marion Motley, a running back who grew up in Canton and played for Paul Brown at Great Lakes, became two of the first black athletes to play professional football when they joined the team in 1946.


Paul Brown brought in assistants including Blanton Collier, who had been stationed at Great Lakes and met Paul Brown at Bluejackets practices.


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.


Paul Brown 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, and Pete Carroll who accomplished the feat with USC in 2004 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2013.


Wes Felser had resigned as the team's coach, and Paul Brown was seen as a possible replacement.


Paul Brown 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.


Paul Brown saw this as a crucial issue: he felt he needed full control over personnel decisions and coaching to make his system work.

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Paul Brown was handsome and charismatic in private and dominant on the field.


Paul Brown was critical of some aspects of Jim Brown's game, including his disinclination to block.


Paul Brown indeed called a fake, and the holder stumbled as he got up to throw, ruining the play.


Jim Brown started a weekly radio show, which Paul Brown did not like; it undercut his control over the team and its message.


Paul Brown 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.


Paul Brown became particularly close to Jim Brown, calling him "my senior partner".


At that time, Paul Brown was the only coach who insisted on calling every offensive play, making use of rotating guards to ferry coaching instructions.


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.


Paul Brown came to Cleveland to train after the cancer went into remission, but Brown would not allow him to play.


Paul 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.


Paul Brown had the third-largest stake in the team, and was the front man for the ownership group.


Paul Brown became general manager and head coach, and was given the right to represent the team in all league matters, a key element of control for him.


Paul 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.


Paul Brown brought in other assistants including Bill Johnson, Rick Forzano and Bill Walsh.


Four days after the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs in 1975, Paul Brown announced he was retiring after 45 years of coaching.


Paul Brown died on August 5,1991, at home of complications from pneumonia.


Paul Brown was succeeded by his son Mike as Bengals' team president.


Paul Brown was inducted in 1967 to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


Paul Brown was a methodical and disciplined coach who tolerated no deviation from his system.


Paul Brown was a very strict coach, and he expected you to toe the line.

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Paul Brown was a tough negotiator over salaries, often refusing to give players raises despite strong performance.


Paul Brown was called "cold and brutal" by sportswriters, and told players to be "ready to fight for your financial lives".


Paul 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.


Paul Brown was so annoyed by the union that he had a 1946 team photo in his office touched up to remove Miller.


Paul Brown's teams' winning ways had helped obscure his harsh methods and need for control, but Modell's active involvement in the team exposed them.


Modell felt Paul Brown was unwilling to adapt to the way football was played in the early 1960s.


Paul Brown never forgave Collier for taking over as coach when he left, even though Collier had asked for and received his blessing.


Paul Brown developed detailed pass patterns that were designed to exploit vulnerabilities in the defense.


Paul Brown is 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.


Paul Brown's approach influenced future generations of coaches down to the present day.


Paul Brown was a student of the game who had much to do with making professional football the attraction it is today.


Paul Brown made coaching a full-time job for himself and all his assistants.


One factor in Paul 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.


Paul Brown invented the practice squad, known in that era as the taxi squad, a group of promising players who did not make the roster but were kept on reserve.


Paul 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.


Paul Brown was a terse man, and his criticisms of players were often withering and ruthless.


Paul Brown prohibited players from drinking, told them not to smoke in public, and made coats and ties mandatory on road trips.


Paul Brown 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.


Paul Brown invented the draw play and helped develop the modern face mask after Len Ford and Otto Graham suffered facial injuries.


Paul Brown integrated pro football without uttering a single word about integration.

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Paul Brown just went out, signed a bunch of great black athletes, and started kicking butt.


Paul Brown was a member of the Bengals' inaugural Ring of Honor class in 2021.


Many of Paul Brown's coaching "descendants" have won NFL titles as head coaches, both before and after the creation of the Super Bowl.