Pat Bowlen stepping down from Broncos due to Alzheimer’s

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Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is stepping away from the organization to deal with Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the 70-year-old Bowlen is relinquishing control of the Broncos to team president Joe Ellis so he can focus on his health.

It’s a really, really sad day,” Ellis told the Denver Post. “It’s sad for his family, his wife and his seven children. It’s sad for everyone in the organization. And it’s sad for all the Bronco fans who know what Pat Bowlen meant to them as an owner. It’s a day nobody wanted to see happen.”

Bowlen took a step back from the daily aspects of running the franchise in 2011 with Ellis taking over much of the workload. Per Klis, Bowlen said he was having issues with short-term memory loss as early as May 2009. The issues progressed with Bowlen revealing it had developed into Alzheimer’s on Tuesday.

Bowlen has owned the Broncos for the past 30 years and guided the franchise to six Super Bowl appearances and two titles during his tenure. The team will not be for sale and control of the franchise now belongs to the Pat Bowlen Trust. Bowlen’s intention is to keep ownership in the family.

32 responses to “Pat Bowlen stepping down from Broncos due to Alzheimer’s

  1. I wish him all the best. He’s actually had this for years now, but the media has kept it quiet.

  2. This is something you always hate to hear. Alzheimers is one of the most awful things I have seen in my life. I wish his family the best in what is a difficult time.

  3. Many people have judged Pat Bowlen from a day back in the 70’s when he wore a fur coat on the sidelines. Being from Canada this was what he was used to and this was before the anti fur movement got underway. However, I won’t say Pat is the best owner ever in football but he surely deserves consideration for one of the best top 10 owners ever. For those fans that don’t realize how good they’ve had it with him as the owner, they will one day find out. I’ve been a fan of teams that REALLY had bad owners. It’s frustrating. DICK Monfort who owns the Rockies has told fans if they don’t like the product to not come to the games yet has employed the same GM since 1999. Fans of the BALTIMORE Colts know that pain as well as other sports francises fans. I’m an Eagles fan living in Colorado for 21 years. It saddened me to hear this news about Mr. Bowlen.

  4. As a life long Broncos fan, I instantly formed a tear as soon as I saw the headline pop up my phone my heart goes out to the Bowlen family as well as the entire organization

  5. Smart move on his part, the way running backs are being used up and thrown away these days he is trying to guarantee a longer term contract past 2015 at a high salary rate… It’s a good move. If he doesn’t get an extension then when his contract ends he will probably end up with the Raiders once they are done with MJD.

  6. I meant no disrespect to Mr Bowlen or his family.
    This obviously has been known in close circles for awhile which probably led to the lax atmosphere in the front management.
    My condolences to family.

  7. There is no disease worse than Alzheimers, it is the slowest of deaths. It robs families of their loved ones for up to a decade. There is no cure and few people know how to deal with it. I wish his family nothing but the best.

  8. Sorry to hear that, Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. Too bad the Broncos have asterisks next to their SB wins for cheating on the cap, that will surely tarnish his legacy.Prayers to his family.

  9. Best of luck, Pat, and thank you for everything you’ve done for this city. It goes beyond ‘running the local football franchise’, you’ve been a genuinely good member of the community, and I’m happy to have called you a neighbor in that regard.

  10. Sad news. My prayers for the Bowlen family. He has been a great owner, and worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.

  11. Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing to be facing. I’ve seen it’s horrible effects first hand. It afflicts people who should be enjoying their “twilight” years and looking back with fondness on their life’s accomplishments …instead it robs patients of their cherished memories, changes their personalities and eventually takes away their ability to live with any kind of independence. The sooner this horrible disease is irradiated, the better! I wish Mr. Bowlen and his family the best!

  12. Sad to hear about this news, Pat Bowlen has been an outstanding owner, and the Broncos are a first class organization.

  13. As a football fan who lost a parent to Alzheimers, I feel for Mr. Bowlen and Broncos fans. It’s a terrible disease that robs people of their personality. For those of you who have never had to deal with this just imagine what its like when a parent or a relative has no idea who you are. I think its especially sad that he built such a successful franchise and now he wont be able to continue to enjoy the fruits of his work. Here’s hoping one day we find a cure for this terrible disease.

    A Ravens fan

  14. As a Browns fan I’ve never stopped liking the Broncos in 1987, and to me the owner – unless he is the “run everything” Jerry Jones, doesn’t really effect much in the way of feelings of disdain toward a team. I separate the man from the team.

    That said, as a man I am saddened to hear this. I cannot imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to, the pains associated with Alzheimers which includes, among other things forgetting everything and everyone and essentially having those memories deteriorate while the body appears normal. I wish him the best, and that his moments of lucidity are long for the benefit of both him and his family, though unfortunately I know that the disease doesn’t work like that. The only other thing that I can say is God speed.

  15. Not a donkeys fan at all, but I am sorry to hear about Pat Bowlens condition. Very hard for the family for sure to see a loved one go through that.
    My prayers and good wishes go out to them.

  16. As a Patriots fan, from afar, I always respected Bowlen. He seemed to be a class act.

    I’ll always remember Bowlen on the stage after the Super Bowl, saying (with sincerity), “this one’s for John.” That is a NFL all time classic.

    Condolences to Bronco Nation and the Bowlen family.

  17. Hey there are people I can’t stand that I wouldn’t wish this on. I’ve seen the effects of what this does to people and its horrible. I’ve been donating to the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s foundation for years and will continue to do so. This is a horrible disease. Wish you the best Mr Bowlen.

  18. Pat Bowlen is an absolute GIANT in the world of pro football, he took the Broncos and turned them into one of the leagues finest.Denver trailed only SF in win pct during his 30yr tenure. He not only has done the city of Denver and the NFL proud, he has done the AFL proud. A top 10 owner all time. Thank you….

    A RAIDER fan

  19. This one’s for Pat!
    Well said, sir!

    As a Raiders fan I have tremendous respect for Pat Bowlen and everything he brought to the NFL. He hired good people and then stayed out of their way and let them do their jobs, building a powerhouse along the way.

    Best of luck to the Broncos family at this time.

  20. I feel for him & his family. My Mother is going through this & is close to the last stages.
    Stay strong & cherish all the time you do have. Remember the good things & when you get angry at the disease, I recommend a punching bag in your garage. It has helped me.

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