This Day in Browns History: Mar. 20

Posted by Matt Florjancic on March 20, 2012 – 7:27 pm

By: Steve King, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com

The Browns already had one former Ohio State head coach on their staff in their own head coach, Paul Brown, but they added another when they hired Paul Bixler as an assistant coach on March 20, 1954.

Brown had hired Bixler as an assistant with the Buckeyes in 1941 and offered him a job with the Browns when he was hired in 1945, the year before the club took the field for the first time. Bixler declined and stayed at Ohio State, becoming head coach there in 1946. He held the job for just that one season before going to Colgate and beginning a five-year tenure as head coach.

He then moved on to Penn and served as an assistant in 1952 and ’53.

Bixler worked with the Browns for nine seasons, through 1962, leaving when Brown was dismissed. During that time, Cleveland won two NFL titles and played in three league champion games.

Bixler had strong Ohio ties. He was a native of Louisville, just east of Canton, and remained in Stark County to play his college football at Mount Union as a guard and fullback. He coached at Canton McKinley High School and then the University of Akron, where he served as an assistant in football and the head men’s basketball coach.

He left Akron and did his first stint at Colgate as a football assistant and the head coach in men’s basketball before going to Ohio State and working under Brown.

Also on this date, March 20, in Browns history, Eppie Barney was born in 1944 in Birmingham, Ala. He moved with his family to Cleveland and ended up graduating from Collinwood High School. He went on to Iowa State as a wide receiver and was a third-round choice of the Browns in the 1967 NFL Draft.

A cousin of Detroit Lions Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Lem Barney, he played two seasons with the Browns, catching 19 passes for one touchdown, and then retired.

Cleveland Clinic presents This Day in Browns History. If you call 1.800.274.2009, Cleveland Clinic will schedule an appointment for either the same day or the next day, including Saturdays. Call to learn more.


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