CLEVELAND — The Browns announced Doug Dieken, a former player turned broadcaster, will retire after Sunday’s season finale against the Bengals.
Dieken has served as a radio commentator for the Browns radio network since 1985. All told, Dieken has been with the Browns for 50 years, 14 as a player.
“It’s been a great ride,” Dieken said. "I want to thank the Browns’ fans for accepting me first as a player and then as a broadcaster. I’ve had the most fantastic teammates on the field, in the radio booth, and in the community to make the last 50 years fun. We didn’t get the wins we all hoped for, but I feel like I’m leaving a winner because of my association with the organization and the great fans who listen to our broadcasts.”
The Browns said Dieken will be honored during Sunday’s home game.
Since the franchise returned from a three-season hiatus in 1999, he has sat next to Jim Donovan in the broadcast booth.
“We really always approached it like we were two friends sitting together with seats beside each other, and we were going to watch the game and talk back and forth. It really worked,” Donovan said. “We both understood what our strengths were. I wasn't going to analyze the game. I wasn't going to be the football guy, and he wasn't going to be the play-by-play guy.
“We understood that we each had our own territory and weren't going to invade the other guy's territory. We respected the jobs that each one of us had to do. I think that started from the very first time we did it and it really remained that way. It never changed because it worked so well.”
The Browns said during Dieken’s tenure, he only missed two games.
The 72-year-old Dieken was named to the 1980 Pro Bowl and has earned a number of awards for his broadcasting.
The Browns, however, noted his work in the community. The Browns said through his public appearances, speaking engagements and charitable endeavors with Special Olympics, he has helped the organization raise $250,000.
“Doug has always had a bigger-than-life presence in the Cleveland community,” former Browns quarterback Brian Sipe said. “It wasn't just because he had a great playing career, which would qualify him in one sense, but he was just so plugged into the community in so many philanthropic ways. He was a give-back guy. I always remember him on our days off participating in some activity that built our community and touched people's lives. I don't want to say we took that for granted, but that was just Doug.”