John Elway rejoins Broncos as football czar
ENGLEWOOD — Hall of Famer John Elway has been summoned by the Denver Broncos for one more comeback.
The beloved quarterback who led the Broncos to five Super Bowls and back-to-back championships before retiring in 1998 is returning as the team’s chief football executive.
His title will be executive vice president of football operations in a reshaped front office, and chief operating officer Joe Ellis becomes team president. Brian Xanders will go from the general manager in name only to one who’s empowered in the new organizational chart.
Team owner Pat Bowlen, who famously declared, “This one’s for John!” following the Broncos’ upset of the Green Bay Packers in the 1997 Super Bowl, said in a statement today that Elway’s “leadership, competitiveness and passion for the Denver Broncos will position this team for long-term success through his work leading our football operations.”
“John has won championships as both a player and executive, and his experience will be a valuable addition to this franchise. He is the perfect fit for this role, and I am excited to welcome him back to the Denver Broncos,” Bowlen said.
After his 16-year playing career ended, Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He also led the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush to a championship in 2005 as its co-owner and chief executive officer.
Elway’s first order of business in his new role with the Broncos will be to lead the search for a coach to replace Josh McDaniels, whose 22-month misadventure left the Broncos embarrassed and in need of a major makeover.
The Broncos are coming off their worst season in their 51-year history, a 4-12 debacle that exposed McDaniels’ many personnel blunders and was marked by the Spygate II videotaping scandal that cast them as cheaters.
Elway will interview Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey on Friday in Atlanta for the vacant head coaching position, then return to Denver to interview Eric Studesville, who was promoted from running backs coach to interim head coach following McDaniels’ Dec. 6 ouster.
Elway also is expected to push Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh to interview. A former Stanford star, Elway served as honorary captain for the Cardinal’s win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl on Monday night.