Pat Bowlen stepped down Tuesday as owner of the Denver Broncos due to his ongoing battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen, 70, bought the Broncos in 1984 and guided them to six Super Bowls, including back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998. The Broncos’ most recent Super Bowl appearance came in February when they lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8.
“The Broncos are very saddened that Mr. Bowlen is no longer able to be part of the team’s daily operations due to his condition. We continue to offer our full support, compassion and respect to ‘Mr. B,’ who has faced Alzheimer’s disease with such dignity and strength,” the team said in a statement. Team president Joe Ellis will assume control of the Broncos.
“This is a sad day for the NFL,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Pat Bowlen’s leadership has been critical to the success of the Broncos and the entire NFL.”
Broncos General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations, John Elway expressed his sentiments via Twitter: “Mr. B is a Hall of Fame owner and a great friend. This is a sad day for all of us. We support him, respect him & stand by him 100 percent!”