The Bengals today wish to respectfully acknowledge the passing of Jack Donaldson, a member of the original 1968 Bengals coaching staff. Donaldson spent 10 seasons (1968-77) on the staff, starting as defensive line coach and spending his last nine seasons as offensive backfield coach. He died on Saturday in Cincinnati, at age 86.
He was hired directly by Paul Brown, Bengals founder and first head coach. He coached two seasons under head coach Bill Johnson after Brown’s retirement following the 1975 season.
“Jack was an outstanding coach,” said Bengals president Mike Brown. “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, at the University of Toledo and with the New York Jets before being sought out by Paul Brown for the Bengals. He contributed to Bengals playoff teams in 1970, ’73 and ’75.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Deupree House, 3939 Erie Ave. in Cincinnati.