Pat Bowlen dies; Hall of Fame owner oversaw Broncos’ greatest success

first_img “His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans,” the family said.MORE: Notable sports deaths in 2019″More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being,” the family added.Bowlen led a group of family members who took over ownership of the franchise from Edgar Kaiser in 1984. The year before, John Elway joined the team after orchestrating a trade from the Baltimore Colts. With Elway at quarterback, the Broncos reached the Super Bowl five times, winning twice.Bowlen hired Elway to be in charge of football operations in 2011. The Broncos made the Super Bowl in the 2013 and 2015 seasons, winning Super Bowl 49 with Peyton Manning at quarterback. “He was a guy that was a great businessman but knew how to blend that with the personal side of it,” Elway told The Athletic. “Everybody that played for him — he had to make a lot of tough decisions. I think that he made those with the organization in mind, but also took care of the people that were on the other end of those decisions. He was always able to keep that relationship. He takes such great care of his employees and his players that that’s what he’s known for.” Pat Bowlen, who led the Broncos to three decades of NFL success as the team’s principal owner, died Thursday from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 75.Bowlen’s family released a statement through the Broncos early Friday. Failing health forced Bowlen to cede day-to-day control of the team in 2013, and the Broncos were placed in a family trust in 2014, per The Denver Post. One of Bowlen’s brothers filed a lawsuit last year in Colorado seeking the removal of the trust’s three trustees, including team president and CEO Joe Ellis. Separately, the NFL will arbitrate a dispute between the trustees and two of Bowlen’s children over Bowlen’s succession plan, per The Athletic.Bowlen was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February. The Broncos will play the Falcons in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio.Surviving are his wife, Annabel, and ex-wife, Sally Parker; seven children; two brothers; and one sister.last_img read more