Paul Brown, perhaps more than any other person, is responsible for making pro football coaching the exact science it is today. When he organized the Cleveland Browns in the new All-America Football Conference in 1946, he started doing things no other pro coach had tried.
Brown had a background of exceptional success as a high school, college and military service coach when he was given his first pro assignment with the new Cleveland team. Immediately, he hired a full-time staff on a year-round basis and he instituted a system for scouting college talent on a scale never before imagined by other pro teams. In his handling of his team, he became the first to (1) use intelligence tests as a hint to a player's learning potential, (2) use notebooks and classroom techniques extensively, (3) set up complete film clip statistical studies and (4) grade his own players based on film study. Brown, always a firm disciplinarian, was the first coach to keep his players together at a hotel the night before a home game as well as a road game.
From the strategic standpoint, he started the practice of calling plays from the sideline by utilizing alternating guards as messengers. He developed detailed pass patterns for the offense that were designed to pick holes in the defense, but then he devoted his efforts to perfecting the kind of a defense that could counteract a pattern passing attack.
Brown built a pro football dynasty in Cleveland, posting a 167-53-8 record, four AAFC titles, three NFL crowns and only one losing season in 17 years. In the four seasons the Browns operated in the AAFC, they lost just four games. When the Browns joined the NFL in 1950, they continued their winning ways playing in the next six championship games and winning the title in 1950, 1954, and 1955.
He was Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967. Shortly after his induction, Brown formed the Cincinnati Bengals in the American Football League. He retired as head coach after the 1975 season, but continued to manage the team until his death in 1991.
Brown rarely made public appearances, but he has been honored at nearly every level of football from high school to the professional ranks. Here are the teams that have honored his career.
Massillon Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio
The high school renamed their football stadium Paul Brown Tiger Stadium and erected a statue of him in the front entrance of the stadium.
Brown Played Quarterback for Miami University for two seasons and compiled a record of 14-3. In 2012, the school unveiled Paul Brown's statue in the "Cradle of Coaches" plaza.
Ohio State University
Ohio State University recognized his accomplishments during a special presentation at the 83rd annual Ohio State University Football Coaches Clinic. The coaching clinic served as "A Tribute to the Great State of Ohio Football" with keynote speeches from some of the state's best, including Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.
In 2010, the Browns posthumously inducted Brown into the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor. His name is prominently displayed on the facade of the upper deck of the stadium.
The Bengals home stadium, Paul Brown Stadium, is named for the NFL legend. The team also created the Paul Brown Excellence in Coaching Award, which is given annually by the Bengals to an outstanding high school football coach in the region.