Miami University’s Cradle of Coaches Plaza got a fitting addition Saturday morning.
The statue of coaching great Paul Brown, a 1930 Miami graduate, was unveiled during a ceremony that included members of the Brown family.
“It’s just a tremendous, emotional experience,” said Mary Brown, Paul’s widow. “That sun shining, coming down, I can just see PB looking down and saying, ‘Oh, look at my university.’ He really credited his whole life with the foundation beginning right here at Miami.”
Paul Brown went on to coaching greatness with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, but he played quarterback at Miami. He died Aug. 5, 1991.
Brown’s statue, created by Kristen Visbal of Lewes, Del., sits between John Pont and Earl “Red” Blaik. Visbal created all the statues — Ara Parseghian, Carm Cozza, Paul Dietzel, Bo Schembechler and Weeb Ewbank are the other coaches— in the plaza.
“Every single one of these guys had an idiosyncracy,” said Visbal, noting that each bronze statue took about 500 hours of work before the casting process began. “Paul always had the fedora, and he always had his hands in his pockets, so we compromised. We put one hand in the pocket.
“It’s a much younger version of Paul. I wanted to depict him in his prime. He had so much style, but he’s really intense.”
Mary Brown said her husband stayed connected to Miami through the years. She did not attend the university, but two of her sisters did.
“Whenever Miami invited him, he would scratch anything on his list of to-dos to come here,” Mary said. “He really was indebted to the university for his wonderful beginning.”
She lives in Milford and will turn 83 in March.
“I’m not uncomfortable saying that because I think age is a state of mind,” said Brown, who owns and helps operate a goat farm in Arkansas. “I don’t feel that old.”