Pat Bowlen, the proprietor of the Denver Broncos whose residency included seven Super Bowl appearances and three titles, died Thursday night, his family declared in an announcement. He was 75.
“We are saddened to inform everyone that our beloved husband and father, Pat Bowlen, passed on to the next chapter of his life late Thursday night peacefully at home surrounded by family,” the Bowlen family said.
“His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans.”
Bowlen, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, experienced Alzheimer’s disease.
He is the only proprietor in NFL history to accomplish 300 triumphs during his first 30 seasons, as indicated by the Hall of Fame.
Bowlen’s family offered thanks for the help it has gotten throughout the years. “Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight,” they said.
“Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility,” the family articulation said.
“More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being.”
Bowlen became majority proprietor in 1984. His sickness was declared by the team in July 2014, and soon after, after he ventured down as CEO, NBC Sports detailed.
With Bowlen as proprietor, the Broncos made seven Super Bowl appearances and captured three titles — in Super Bowls XXXII, XXXIII and 50. The team had 21 winning seasons, 13 division titles and nine conference championship berths, as per the Hall of Fame.
Broncos director of sports medicine, Steve Antonopulos, warmly known as “Greek,” was picked to show Bowlen into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the Aug. 3 enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio,, the Associated Press detailed.
Antonopulos said that when he shows Bowlen, he wants to make sure to convey how much Bowlen put winning atop his to-do list and how he really thought about everybody who worked for him.
The Broncos said in an explanation that Bowlen, referred to numerous as “Mr. B,” was guided by a basic expression: “I want to be No. 1 in everything.”
“Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos. Not only was Pat a Hall of Fame owner — he was a Hall of Fame person,” Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement. “His competitiveness, kindness and humility are the qualities that I will always remember. Even during his battle with Alzheimer’s, you could still see that same strength and dignity in Pat that he brought to the office every single day for more than 30 years.”
Ellis said Bowlen was “the driving force in establishing the championship culture of the Broncos.”
He said his heart goes out to Bowlen’s wife, Annabel, and seven kids, Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna, as well as to the team’s fans.
“With the fans, Pat felt in many ways that his team belonged to them and approached things with that in mind,” Ellis said. “There will never be another owner like Pat Bowlen.”
“I would much rather operate behind the curtain and let the athletes and coaches be the entertainment,” Bowlen once said, according to the team. “I think that’s the way that it should be.”