Denver, CO, United States (4E Sports) – The Denver Broncos have announced that longtime owner Pat Bowlen has given up control of the team as he battles Alzheimer’s disease.
Team president Joe Ellis will assume control of the Broncos while the 70-year-old Bowden deals with the disease.
“In recent years, Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has taken a reduced role with his team while courageously and privately battling Alzheimer’s disease,” the team said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
“Going forward, Pat Bowlen’s indelible contributions to the Broncos, the NFL and this community will continue to define his three decades of ownership and serve as the standard he has set for his franchise,” the NFL said in a statement.
“With more than 300 victories, including six AFC championships and back-to-back Super Bowls, Mr. Bowlen has established the culture of winning that is responsible for the Broncos’ sustained success,” the league added.
Ellis worked as the Broncos’ marketing director from 1983 to 1985, and then rejoined the team in 1998 as its executive vice president of business operations.
In 2008, Ellis was named the team’s chief operating officer, and in 2011 he was named team president.
Bowlen purchased the Broncos in 1984 from Edgar Kaiser. In Bowlen’s 30 years as owner, the Broncos reached six Super Bowls, winning back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998.