Commas

Q. Is it necessary to have commas before and after an appositive when referring to coaches? Example: We went to see Bengals coach Paul Brown to interview one of his players.

A. Coaches receive the same treatment as everyone else. Use commas with an appositive if the expression is not restrictive—that is, if it would make sense set off by parentheses:

We went to see Bengals coach Paul Brown.

We went to see the Bengals coach (Paul Brown).

We went to see the Bengals coach, Paul Brown.

See CMOS 5.21 and 6.22–24 for more on restriction and commas.