Frank Minnifield, Dawg Pound co-founder, Cleveland Browns 1990 NFL ProSet
Throughout much of the 1980s, Frank Minnifield was part of a one-two punch that made up one of the NFL’s most feared secondaries. At the same time he helped come up the Dawg Pound moniker.
The Cleveland Browns’ corner teamed with fellow corner back Hanford Dixon to account for three simultaneous Pro Bowl selections from 1986 to 1988. Minnifield was also tabbed for the 1989 Pro Bowl.
The Dawg Pound was inspired by Dixon’s barking at teammates most notably Minnifield. The name has since gave the logoless franchise a visual identify.
In this 1990 NFL Pro Set card, Minnifield is shown lining up on a cold late-season game at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. Like many players during the era, he has tape over the ear holes of the his helmet to keep the wind out in an attempt to stay warm.
Throughout his eight-year career, Minnifield recorded 20 interceptions. He was named to the NFL 1980s All-Decade Team.
The Louisville product joined the Browns after he sued the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers, formerly the Chicago Blitz, for the right to move to the NFL. The Browns also plunked Kevin Mack and Gerald McNeil out of the USFL
Following his retirement in 1992, Minnifield founded Minnifield All-Pro Homes, a homebuilding company in Lexington. In 1993, he became the first African American executive named to the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board.