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Marvin Lewis

Took Visible Role In Cincinnati

In Cincinnati, Lewis became a popular and charismatic figure; some even credited him as a calming force in a city torn by deep-rooted racial unrest. Appearing at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new downtown public library shortly after his arrival, he became a fixture at civic functions and was an energetic speechmaker who drew on his small-town roots and experiences. He often spoke out against the crudeness that was endemic to the game of football, on one occasion urging league officials to take action against players who intimidated others by spitting on them. Married and the father of one daughter and one son, Lewis was the voice and face of the Bengals to an unusual degree. Bengals president Mike Brown, previously notorious for his detailed management style, turned not only football decisions but also day-to-day management chores such as staff hires and even the choice of training-camp location over to Lewis.

Shaking up the Bengals squad and recruiting a mixture of veteran free agents and talented young players, Lewis delivered impressive results in his first year as Bengals coach. Although the team lost its first three games, the Bengals bounced back to finish with an 8-8 record. They had a chance to make the NFL playoffs for the first time since 1990, but lost their final game. In the words of the Washington Post, "Marvin Lewis restored the dignity of the Cincinnati Bengals" in his debut campaign.

At a Glance...

Born on September 23, 1958, in McDonald, PA; son of Marvin Lewis, Sr. (a steelworker and foreman), and Vanetta Lewis (a nurse); married Peggy; children: Whitney, Marcus. Education: Idaho State University, BS, physical education, 1981; Idaho State University, MS, athletic administration, 1982.

Career: Idaho State University, linebackers coach, 1981-84; Long Beach State University, assistant coach, 1985-86; University of New Mexico, assistant coach, 1987-89; University of Pittsburgh, assistant coach, 1990-91; Pittsburgh Steelers, linebackers coach, 1992-95; Baltimore Ravens, defensive coordinator, 1996-2001; Washington Redskins, assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, 2002; Cincinnati Bengals, head coach, 2003–.

Awards: Inductee, Idaho State Hall of Fame, 2001.

Addresses: Office–Cincinnati Bengals, One Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

The Bengals went 8-8 once again in 2004 as Lewis took a chance on rookie quarterback Carson Palmer. The offense jelled toward the end of the year, but, ironically in view of Lewis's wealth of defensive experience, it was the Bengals defense that struggled. Still, Lewis had clearly built the nucleus of a potential playoff contender, and his position as Bengals coach seemed secure. "You can't worry about the bad days getting in the way of the good days that are coming," Lewis told the Columbus Dispatch. "You keep your eyes focused on what you're trying to get done. You work at it and work at it, and if things aren't to your liking, you work at changing them."



Buffalo News, December 17, 2004, p. B1.

Columbus Dispatch, January 15, 2003, p. E1; February 4, 2003, p. E1; September 12, 2004, p. F5; November 10, 2004, p. D4; November 14, 2004, p. E13; December 12, 2004, p. E1; January 9, 2005, p. E11.

Dayton (OH) Daily News, April 20, 2003, p. C1.

Denver Post, August 31, 2003, p. CC7.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 12, 2002; November 21, 2004, p. D4.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 21, 2003, p. E1.

USA Today, December 29, 2003, p. C7.

Washington Post, November 10, 2004, p. D4.


"Coaching Staff: Head Coach Marvin Lewis," NFL. com, www.nfl.com/teams/coaching/CIN (March 3, 2005).

"Marvin Lewis," Cincinnati Bengals, www.bengals.com (March 3, 2005).

—James M. Manheim

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