News

Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen battling Alzheimers, steps down

Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen battling Alzheimers, steps down

STEPPING DOWN:Bowlen's long-term hope is for one of his children to run the team at the appropriate time, and his succession plan will continue to be implemented, the team said. Photo: Associated Press

By Daniel Wallis

DENVER (Reuters) – Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is stepping down as he battles Alzheimer’s disease, the National Football League team said on Wednesday, adding that it was saddened he could no longer take part in the club’s daily operations.

Bowlen, 70, is one of the NFL’s most well-known owners and guided the Broncos to six Super Bowl appearances during his 30 years at the helm.

“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.

The team’s president, Joe Ellis, will oversee day-to-day management, while a trust will handle Bowlen’s ownership of the team.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease with no known cure and is the most common cause of dementia in older people. Over time, it destroys one’s memory and other cognitive abilities.

Bowlen’s long-term hope is for one of his children to run the team at the appropriate time, and his succession plan will continue to be implemented, the team said.

With more than 300 victories, including six American Football League championships and back-to-back Super Bowls victories in 1997 and 1998, the team said Bowlen had established a “culture of winning” that is behind the Broncos’ success.

Ellis, who has worked with Bowlen for almost three decades, was also named as the Broncos’ chief executive officer and adds those responsibilities to his role as team president.

In a statement provided by the Broncos, Bowlen’s wife said he had decided to keep his illness private because he believed the attention should not be on him.

“Pat has always wanted the focus to be solely on the Denver Broncos and the great fans who have supported this team with such passion,” Annabel Bowlen said.

“Alzheimer’s has taken so much from Pat, but it will never take away his love for the Denver Broncos and his sincere appreciation for the fans,” she added.

(Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Recent Headlines

in Sports, Viral Videos

Marshawn Lynch doesn’t want to get fined

Fresh
23-overlay5

The Seattle Seahawks running back has a goal for Media Day.

in Viral Videos

School announces snow day with ‘Let It Go’ parody

22-overlay5

Who needs robocalls when you can declare school closures through song?

in Music

Imagine Dragons launch sky-high concert contest

Dan Reynolds, of Imagine Dragons, performs at the 25th annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at The Forum on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, in Inglewood, Calif.

Imagine Dragons have teamed up with Southwest Airlines to give a group of fans a once-in-a-lifetime mile-high experience.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Marshawn Lynch holds an “awesomer” press conference

23-overlay4

"You don't feel in beast mode. It feels you."

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Dear Kitten:’ Cats explain the Big Game

25-overlay8

One day a year, things get weird ... but your cats have a game plan all their own.