After graduating from Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial engineering, Baughan was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the 1960 NFL Draft (20th pick overall). He became a starter for the Eagles at linebacker and helped lead them to the 1960 NFL Championship as a rookie. In 11 NFL seasons he was a seven-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowler.
Baughan retired from the NFL in 1972 to return to Tech as the Jackets’ defensive coordinator under coach Bill Fulcher and, in his first season in the role, helped lead the Jackets to a 31-30 victory over Iowa State in 1972 Liberty Bowl.
He left Tech in 1974 to return to the NFL as a player-coach for Washington. After retiring following the 1974 campaign he embarked on a coaching career that spanned three decades, including six seasons as the head coach at Cornell (1983-88) and stints as an NFL assistant with the Baltimore Colts, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens.
Baughan was inducted to the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1965 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He is also a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame.