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Paul Brown

Gridiron Success

In their first season as a team, the Cleveland Browns won their first five games by a combined score of 142-20. They ended up at 12-2 on the year, winning the franchise's first AAFC Championship over New York at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Brown coached Cleveland to championships the next three seasons, as well.

In 1949, the NFL took the Browns into the league (along with the Baltimore Colts and the San Francisco 49ers). It was the end of AAFC, but the beginning of more success for Coach Brown. The Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), Bert Bell, always aware of marketing strategies, wanted to pit the best teams from both leagues against one another. So in the first game of the season, the Browns played the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Cleveland Browns dominated the contest, emerging with 35-10 rout. The Browns' precision passing game was awesome, and the Eagles' coach didn't know how to defense it.


1908 Born September 7 in Norwalk, Ohio
1932-40 Leads Massillon (OH) High School football team to 59 wins and 1 loss in his tenure there
1940 Becomes head coach of Ohio State Buckeyes
1942 Wins national championship with Buckeyes
1944 Stationed as a lieutenant at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center outside of Chicago
1946 Hired by owner Mickey McBride, Paul Brown puts all pieces in place for a successful Cleveland Browns football team
1950 Transfers from AAFC to the NFL, plays first game against Eagles on September 16
1950 Leads Cleveland to a 10-2 season and beats L.A. Rams to win the NFL championship
1951-55 Leads the Browns to the championship game for five straight years, winning it all in 1954 and 1955
1956 Brown suffers his first losing season as coach
1961 Advertising executive Art Modell buys the Browns for $4 million
1962 Makes famous trade, sending Browns running back Bobby Mitchell to Washington for Ernie Davis (would eventually lead to his firing as head coach)
1962 Browns finish 7-6-1
1963 Released from coaching duties of the Cleveland Browns by team owner Art Modell
1967 Inducted into Professional Football Hall of Fame
1968 Starts coaching again, this time with an expansion team—the Cincinnati Bengals
1975 Retires from coaching
1991 Dies on August 5, in Cincinnati, Ohio, following complications from pneumonia

Awards and Accomplishments

1942 Coached Ohio State University to national title
1946-49 Led team to #1 finishes and titles in All American Football Conference (AAFC)
1950-55, 1957 Finished in first place in his NFL division
1950, 1954-55 Won NFL Championship Game
1967 Inducted into National Football Hall of Fame

Paul Brown would coach in Cleveland until 1963. In 1968, he became the first coach of a new team in Ohio, the Cinncinnati Bengals. But his success in Cincinnati didn't come close to his prior successes. He finished his tenure as coach of the Bengals with a 55-59-1 record. He retired from coaching in 1975.

Paul Brown ended his career with a 222-112-9 record in professional football. He won four All-American Football Conference titles and three NFL titles. With the Cleveland Browns, he compiled a record of forty-seven wins, four losses and three ties in the AAFC, and the move to the NFL would garner almost as much success.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsFootballPaul Brown Biography - Growing Up, A Storybook Beginning, On To Osu, Gridiron Success, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY BROWN: