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Tiger Stadium home to storied Massillon Washington

Paul_Brown_Tiger_Stadium 

As home to one of the nation’s legendary football programs, it only makes sense that Massillon (Ohio) Washington High School has a facility to match.

That facility is Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. Built in 1939 and with a maximum seating capacity of 19,000, it is an appropriate home for a football program that ranks No. 4 in the nation for all-time victories, with an 803-244-35 win-loss record going back to 1894.

The stadium is named after legendary football coach Paul Brown, a 1925 Washington High School graduate who played quarterback for the Tigers. After enrolling at Ohio State University, he transferred to Miami (Ohio) University, where he was named to the Associated Press All-Ohio small college second team.

After graduating from Miami, Brown coached at the Severn School in Severna Park, Maryland, for two seasons before getting hired at age 23 by his high school alma mater. There, he led Washington High School to a glittering 80-8-2 record and won six straight Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) state titles. He subsequently coached Ohio State University for three seasons and two Ohio-based NFL franchises - the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Not content with merely being a highly successful coach, one of Brown’s greatest ‑ and perhaps most enduring ‑ achievements was he spearheaded the effort to build the stadium at Washington High School through the Works Progress Administration program.

In addition to being the regular-season home of the Tigers football program, Paul Brown Tiger Stadium hosts several OHSAA football playoff games and three divisional championship games. Other events held there include the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Drum and Bugle Corps Competition.

Simply watching a game at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium is regarded as an event. Game-day activities include bonfires and parades, and there is even a real tiger (“Obie”) roaming the sidelines as the mascot. The local townspeople also get into the act as they adorn their shop windows with orange and black decorations, and even the fire hydrants have Tigers stripes.

Not only is game time an enjoyable experience for fans, it is also extremely media-friendly. Members of the Fourth Estate can avail themselves of the comforts and resources of the press box that accommodates 120 people, which is comparable to most National Football League venues.

Helping provide game-time spirit is the marching band, called the Massillon Tiger Swing Band. Now in its 74th year of existence, the Swing Band was formed by George “Red” Bird in 1938, and has performed at the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowl parades.

The highly successful Washington High School program has produced 22 state championships and its 1999 season was featured in a documentary entitled “Go Tigers.” Among its famous alumni is golfer Tom Weiskopf, while linebacker Chris Spielman was featured on the Wheaties box as a 16-year-old Washington High School linebacker. 

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