As everyone in the world knows, the Super Bowl is going to be played on February 7th. Through its history there have been dynasties, decade champions, and many remarkable achievements. It has solidified greatness by answering questions like; "Can John Elway win the big one," "Does Payton Manning’s legacy need a Super Bowl championship," "Is the AFL really as good as the NFL?" Through all these questions, there has been a remarkable statistic that binds nearly every Super Bowl played: Paul Brown has his mark on the Super Bowl.
Long before the Super bowl, and 4 years before the Browns entered the NFL, Paul Brown was creating a team that would play in Championship games for a decade. But this post is about his coaching style, what his legacy is to the sport. Paul Brown has the most remarkable, and successful coaching tree in the NFL.
This tree is a bit out of date, because it was made in 2008, and it also keeps out Bill Walsh. I place Walsh under Brown because he was offensive coordinator for the Bengals under Brown for eight seasons. He has also been branched to Sid Gilman’s coaching tree because he was trained under Al Davis and the vertical passing offense. For this post I am going to break down the Super Bowl coaches and show the stamp that Paul Brown has left in the most highly rated sporting event of the year.
Super Bowl I & II- Although Brown is not linked to any of these coaches, there is a rumor that Green Bay called Brown, at the end of the 1958 season, and asked who he recommends for head coach. He recommended Blanton Collier, Brown successor after being fired by Modell, and Vince Lombardi. The rest is history.
Super Bowl III- Weeb Ewbanks - an assistant to Brown at Great Lakes Naval Station, served as his line coach for the Browns, and was a fellow grad of Miami University in Ohio.
Don Shula - How many connections to Paul Brown can one man have? Shula played for Brown and Ewbank, and he coached for Collier.
Super Bowl IV- Bud Grant – Played for Brown at Great Lakes Naval Station, he was the losing coach.
Super Bowl V- Nothing here
Super Bowl VI-Don Shula – Losing coach.
Super Bowl VII- Don Shula
Super Bowl VIII- Don Shula; Bud Grant
Super Bowl IX- Chuck Noll - His seven-year playing career was spent under Brown, and he spent three years as an assistant to Shula.
Bud Grant – Losing Coach
Super Bowl X- Chuck Noll
Super Bowl XI- Bud Grant – Losing Coach
Super Bowl XII- Nothing here
Super Bowl XIII & XIV- Chuck Noll
Super Bowl XV- Nothing here
Super Bowl XVI- Bill Walsh – Read Above
Forrest Gregg – This one is difficult, He get in here because he was coach of the Bengals while Brown was owner. Gregg is a Hall of Famer for the Green Bay Packers under Lombardi and Landry.
Super Bowl XVII- Don Shula – Losing coach
Super Bowl XVIII- Nothing here
Super Bowl XIX- Bill Walsh; Don Shula – Losing coach
Super Bowl XX- Nothing here
Super Bowl XXI- Bill Parcells – Under Ray Perkins, who played for Don Shula and the Baltimore Colts.
Super Bowl XXVI, XXVII, & XXVIII- Nothing here
Super Bowl XXIX- George Seifert- Assistant under Bill Walsh
Super Bowl XXX- Bill Cowher – Losing Coach; linked, as shown in picture above, through Marty Schottenheimer
Super Bowl XXXI– Mike Holmgren – Offensive Coordinator under Bill Walsh.
Bill Parcells – Losing coach
Super Bowl XXXII- Mike Shanahan – Offensive Coordinator to George Seifert; Mike Holmgren – Losing coach
Super Bowl XXXIIII- Mike Shanahan
Super Bowl XXXIV- Jeff Fisher – Losing coach
Super Bowl XXXV– Brian Billick – Assistant Coach to Dennis Green who is in the Bill Walsh coaching tree.
Super Bowl XXXVI- Bill Belichick – See above picture.
Super Bowl XXXVII- Jon Gruden – Assistant to Mike Holmgren
Super Bowl XXXVIII- Bill Belichick; John Fox – Losing coach
Super Bowl XXXIX- Bill Belichick; Andy Reid – Losing coach
Super Bowl XL- Bill Cowher; Mike Holmgren – Losing coach
Super Bowl XLI- Tony Dungy; Lovie Smith – Losing coach
Super Bowl XLII- Tom Coughlin; Bill Belichick – Losing coach
Super Bowl XLIII- Mike Tomlin; Ken Whisenhunt – Losing coach
As you can see there are very few games in which Brown’s influence is not seen. The actual count is 10, and the number of wins is 25. This stat is astounding. During the last 6 Super Bowls both coaches are from the tree, and this year is no different. Sean Payton coached with Parcells in Dallas. And Colts head coach Jim Caldwell was coaching under Tony Dungy.
Paul Brown not only invented the modern coach, but he is the architect to great football teams and Super Bowl Champions.