History Repeats Itself At USC

When Jeff Cravath was forced to resign as USC football coach in 1950, there was a lot of speculation he would be replaced by Paul Brown, coach of the NFL champion Cleveland Browns.

He was a co-founder of the Browns and the team was named after him. It would have been a huge hire. Brown had even coached at Ohio State from 1941-43 (Sound familiar?). But Brown dismissed the idea.

Another candidate was Charlie Caldwell, who led Princeton to a perfect 9-0 season and Ivy League title.

When it came time to hire a coach, former USC assistant and then-track coach Jess Hill was promoted to USC head coach.

“When they promoted Hill, the athletic board had not considered him,” a USC athletic dept. employee at the time told me. “Someone said, `How about (USC track coach) Jess Hill?’ Another said: `Why I never thought of him.’ ”

When Hill decided to resign in 1956, marquee names like Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma) and Duffy Daugherty (Michigan State) were considered leading candidates. Also a strong candidate was former USC great Tay Brown, who took Compton College to five Junior Rose Bowls.

But USC promoted assistant coach Don Clark, who was a former player.

Paul Brown, shown in 1962, won three NFL titles with the Cleveland Browns

17 thoughts on “History Repeats Itself At USC

      1. Michael, I heard from the stylist who cuts Bohn’s hair that the next HC at USC will be some dude named Vince Lombardi — but I promised to keep my source’s name confidential, much like Little Scottie does for his unnamed sources. Anyway, FWIW.


    1. Give me your phone number, Megatron –I’ll call at halftime of the Alabama game.

      Liked by 3 people

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