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Today in Sports History: 2/8 | Paul Brown Agrees to Coach Cleveland Football Team

Today in sports history (1945), Paul Brown agreed to coach Cleveland’s American football expansion team. The team would later be named the Cleveland Browns after him. They would achieve success the Browns have been chasing ever since.

Cleveland Browns: AAFC Powerhouse

When Paul Brown first accepted the position, the team was a part of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Without a name, the honor was given to Brown to name the team. Amid calls to name it after him, he declined and put it up to a fan vote. After the “Panthers” won, Brown rejected the name after hearing it was the name of a previous Cleveland team that had “failed.” While many different stories had been floated around as to why the Browns chose the name the Browns, it was finally revealed many years later that they were in fact named after their former head coach Paul Brown.

The Cleveland Browns were a force to be reckoned with in the AAFC. Although the league only lasted for a few years, the Browns made their impact felt, as they went 47-4-3. The Browns won all four championship games from 1946-49 before being accepted into the NFL for the 1950 season.

Credit: AP

Paul Brown’s Browns NFL Success and Legacy

When Cleveland moved to the NFL, Brown’s success moved with him. Paul Brown led the Browns to seven NFL Championship games in his first eight years, with the Cleveland winning three of them. Brown would go on to post a 111-44-5 record for the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. While his success waned in his later years with Cleveland and into his time with Cincinnati in the AFL and NFL, his impact on the game of football is still felt today.

One of the most impressive things about Paul Brown is his coaching tree, which is so large many refer to it as a coaching “forest.” Brown directly influenced legendary coaches such as Don Shula, Bill Walsh and Chuck Noll. With every passing year, his influence and approach to the game are indirectly influencing more and more coaches in the NFL that we know and love today.

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