Bengals mourn Jack Donaldson, long-time assistant coach

Posted Nov 18, 2013

The Bengals lost one of their charter coaches over the weekend when Jack Donaldson, a Paul Brown disciple who worked on the club's first 10 coaching staffs, died in Cincinnati.

The Bengals lost one of their charter coaches over the weekend when Jack Donaldson, a Paul Brown disciple who worked on the club's first 10 coaching staffs, died in Cincinnati. He was 86.

Brown signed up "J.D." from Weeb Ewbank's powerful New York Jets as part of his six-man staff to coach the defensive line for his Baby Bengals of 1968. After that inaugural season, Brown moved Donaldson to the offensive backfield, where he coached the next nine seasons and developed six different leading rushers.

After Brown retired following the 1975 season, Donaldson stayed on for two years to coach under Tiger Johnson.

“Jack was an outstanding coach,” Bengals president Mike Brown said in a news release. “He aided the development of running backs that our longtime fans remember well -- Paul Robinson, Jess Phillips, Essex Johnson, Lenvil Elliott, Boobie Clark and Archie Griffin. He was greatly respected by my father, as well as by myself, and we are saddened by this news and send our condolences to Jack’s family.”

A native of Pataskala, Ohio, near Columbus, Donaldson earned undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Ohio State. He coached in Ohio high schools and at the University of Toledo before joining the Jets of Miami University's Ewbank.

"He was a good dude. Fun guy to be around and he knew his football," said Dave Lapham, the club's radio analyst who blocked four seasons for Donaldson's backs. "He's what you expected from a guy that Paul Brown hired. He was meticulous, attention to detail, and he was a good teacher. Paul thought a football coach was a football coach, so when he neeed a guy to coach the backs he said, 'J.D, I'm going to move you.' "

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Deupree House, 3939 Erie Ave., Cincinnati.


Recent Articles

  • Bengals Sign First-Round Draft Pick Billy Price

    Posted 1 hour ago

    The Bengals today signed C Billy Price of Ohio State University, their first-round selection (21st overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft. The contract is for four years through 2021, with a team option to extend it by one year through 2022.

  • Hobson's Choice: something old, a lot new

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted May 19, 2018

    Tough sledding for rookies like cornerback Davontae Harris (35) when it comes to a deep defensive depth chart, but like many of the draft picks he can make the club in the kicking game and play a lot on special teams.

  • Bengals Give Back: Bernard's School in Haiti

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted May 17, 2018

    Running back Giovani Bernard’s endless dance card of moves has provided the Bengals offense with plenty of electricity since he arrived five years ago. But there’s one place he’s electrified where they really have no idea who he is. Bernard figures the good people in the ancestral corner of his Haitian hometown of Tabarre know him only as “The Electricity Guy,” and "The Water Guy."

  • Ross listening to think tank

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted May 15, 2018

    Just stop thinking. That’s what the vets have been telling John Ross this spring. In anticipation of next Tuesday’s first voluntary on-field session against the defense both fellow wide receivers A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell are telling Ross to just stop thinking and start allowing his enormous talent to surface.

  • Price bench pressing playbook

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted May 14, 2018

    Rookie center Billy Price, the Bengals’ No. 1 pick, isn’t scheduled to make a snap until training camp but he’s already making an impact.

Recent Videos