Born September 7, 1908, Ohio United States. Paul Brown, the founder and first head coach of both the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, is widely regarded as one of football’s greatest innovators and among the finest coaches in the sport’s history.
Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 after starting the Cleveland Browns and led the team to seven league titles in 12 seasons. He formed the Cincinnati Bengals in the same year and served as head coach from 1968 until 1975, the team’s debut season.
Brown is recognized with a number of firsts in American football. He was the first coach to scout opponents using game footage, hire a full-time staff of assistants, and put players through playbook tests.
Paul Brown was the first to create the current face mask, as well as the practice squad and the draw play. He also helped to break the color barrier in professional football by introducing the first African-Americans to play in the modern period to his teams.
The modern Cincinnati Bengals were formed by Paul Brown, who teamed up with then-governor James A. Rhodes to petition the American Football League for expansion on Cincinnati’s behalf, gaining the franchise in 1967.
So, how did Paul Brown come up with the name “Bengals”? Did he have feelings for the animal (yes, they are magnificent) or did he believe the name would give the opponents the chills? He chose the moniker to link the current team to a long-ago Cincinnati football franchise. Long before the current Cincinnati Bengals organization, there existed a storied Cincinnati Bengals franchise.