Historical Society recalls Warren grad | News, Sports, Jobs

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was submitted as part of the Trumbull County Historical Society‘s efforts to raise awareness of local Black history as part of Black History Month.

On this final day of Black History Month, let’s take a moment and celebrate one of Warren G. Harding’s best-known sports professionals.

Paul Dryden Warfield was born in Warren in 1942. He graduated from Harding High School in 1960, a time when Harding’s mascot was still the Panthers and the high school’s rivalry against the Western Reserve Raiders was strong. He excelled as a running back and defensive back, and featured in a now infamous 6-0 game against one of Harding’s biggest rivals, the Massillon Tigres. In addition to his high school football career, he also excelled in athletics.

After graduating from Harding, he played for Ohio State University and continued to excel in football and athletics, winning several championships during his time there.

He was even an Olympic hopeful before deciding to play professional football.

In 1964, Warfield was a first-round pick for the Cleveland Browns. In his first season, the Browns reached the NFL Championship and won, defeating the Baltimore Colts.

In 1970 Warfield was traded to the Miami Dolphins which came as a shock to him and the fans. The Dolphins were undefeated in their 1972 season and won their first Super Bowl title against Washington. Warfield won another Super Bowl with the Dolphins before joining the World Football League.

Warfield was selected by the Toronto Northmen in the WFL Draft. Prior to the start of the season, the team moved to Memphis, Tennessee and renamed itself the Memphis Grizzlies. The WFL ended after the 1975 season.

Warfield returned to the NFL, playing his final two seasons with the Cleveland Browns before retiring in 1977.

After retiring, he earned his master’s degree in telecommunications from Kent State University. While in college, Warfield was a sportscaster for the college radio station and was also a sportscaster for WKYC in Cleveland.

From 1981 to 1987, Warfield served as director of player relations for the Cleveland Browns and later served as senior adviser to the team’s general manager.

He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 1983, his first year of eligibility, after a career that saw 157 games, 85 touchdowns, two Super Bowl victories, five consecutive conference championship appearances with the Browns of Cleveland and eight Pro Bowl selections.

In 2013, a statue of Warfield was erected in front of Mollenkopf Stadium at Warren G. Harding High School. The monument in Warfield represents his football career and how it all started in Warren, Ohio.

Moell is Curator of Collections and Research for the Trumbull County Historical Society. For more information, call 330-394-4653 or email us at [email protected]

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