Paul E. Brown Bio

Paul Brown - Hall of Champions - David Myers

Personal information
Date of birth: September 7, 1908
Place of birth: Norwalk, Ohio
Date of death: August 5, 1991 (aged 82)
Place of death: Cincinnati, OH. Buried Massillon, OH
College: Miami (Ohio)

Career Coaching history
Severn School (1930–1931) – Maryland HS Champion (1930)
Massillon Washington High School (1932–1940) – Ohio AP HS Champion (1935–1936, 1938-1940) – HS Football National Championship (1935, 1936, 1939, 1940)
Ohio State University (1941–1943) – NCAA National Champion (1942)
Great Lakes Blue Jackets (1944–1945)
Cleveland Browns AAFC (1946–1949) – AAFC Champion (1946, 1947, 1948, 1949) – 47–4–3 (AAFC record)
Cleveland Browns NFL (1950–1962) – NFL Champion (1950, 1954, 1955)
Cincinnati Bengals (1968–1975)

Career highlights and awards
Sporting News Coach of the Year (1949, 1951, 1953)
UPI NFL Coach of the Year (1957, 1969, 1970)
Pro Football Hall of Fame (1967) –
NFL Alumni Order of the Leather Helmet (1979)
Walter Camp Man of the Year (1989)
Paul Brown Tiger Stadium located in Massillon, Ohio named after him
Paul Brown Stadium located in Cincinnati, Ohio named after him
Cleveland Browns Most career wins record (158)
NFL Regular Season Record 166–100–6
NFL Playoff Record 4–8
Career NFL statistics
Win-Loss Record: 170–108–6
Winning %: .6115
Games: 284

Massillon Coaching Record – 80 Wins – 8 Losses – 2 Ties – Winning Percentage .909

Paul Brown Massillon History

Revered as “Father Football” and “Football’s Greatest Innovator”. Brown grew up in Massillon, Ohio, where he moved with his family from Norwalk when he was nine years of age. His father, Lester, was a dispatcher for the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad. Massillon was a shipping and steel town obsessed with its high school and professional football teams, both called the Tigers. Massillon’s main rival at both levels was nearby Canton, at the time a bigger and richer town. When the professional teams folded in the 1920s, the rivalry between the high school teams took center stage.

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. Harry Stuhldreher, who went on to be one of Notre Dame’s legendary Four Horsemen, was then the high school quarterback. 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.

Brown graduated in 1925 and enrolled at Ohio State University the following year, hoping to make the Buckeyes team. He never got past the tryout phase. 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. In two seasons at Miami, Brown guided the team to a 14–3 record. He married his high school sweetheart Katie Kester the following year. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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

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. The pinnacle of Brown’s career at Massillon was a victory in the 1940 season against Toledo’s Waite High School. 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. The Massillon 1940 squad is still regarded by historians as one of the best in the history of state high school football.

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. His overall record at the school was 80–8–2, including a 35-game winning streak. Between 1935 and 1940, the team won the state football championship six times and won the High School Football National Championship three 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.

A visionary, Paul Brown set a standard for excellence that affected academics and extra-curriculars for decades, a spirit that reached beyond the confines of the school and enhanced the quality of life in the community. A 1967 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Paul E. Brown – who forever influenced high school, college, and professional football – died on August 5, 1991. The football famous attended his funeral at St. Timothy’s Church while a respectful crowd surrounded the building. He was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery on Wales Road, Massillon, Ohio.

Credit: Massillon Tiger Football Booster Club, Jack White Jr. (Massillon Tiger Story: The First 100 Years), Wikipedia – (Paul E. Brown)
Paul Brown - 1976