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

This week’s best sports shots

llws

Some of the best plays and biggest newsmakers from the week in sports.

in Viral Videos

This is one way to get a tan

10-overlay22

It's summer and the beaches are packed - so this guy got some private sunbathing time while sky high.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP_568873619964

A look back at some of this week's biggest newsmakers and the headlines you may have missed.

in National

How low will gas go?

19-overlay12

AAA predicts gas prices could drop below $2 a gallon by the end of the year.

in National

Buzz Aldrin wants to colonize Mars

12-overlay17

The second man to walk on the moon is pushing for a Mars settlement by 2040.