ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In an offseason that promises to bring plenty of change around Dove Valley, one thing is now certain -- John Elway will help lead the Broncos in 2011 and beyond.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion was named Executive Vice President of Football Operations on Wednesday.
"John Elway's leadership, competitiveness and passion for the Denver Broncos will position this team for long-term success through his work leading our football operations," Broncos Owner and CEO Pat Bowlen said. "John has won championships as both a player and executive, and his experience will be a valuable addition to this franchise. He is the perfect fit for this role, and I am excited to welcome him back to the Denver Broncos."
The team also appointed Joe Ellis team president.
Elway will direct the Broncos' football operations, working closely with general manager Brian Xanders and the team's head coach while supervising the club's personnel department.
The 16-year Broncos signal caller will hold final authority over the team's football operations -- reporting directly to Bowlen and Ellis -- and will lead the search for a new head coach.
He steps into his new role after spending the 2010 season as a consultant for the team's marketing initiatives following eight seasons as a co-owner and CEO of the AFL's Colorado Crush.
He ran the Crush's day-to-day operations beginning with its founding in 2002, spearheading its football operations and maintaining a presence in all of its marketing and promotional activities. He was named the league's executive of the year in 2003, led the Crush to a World Championship in 2005 and was elected chairman of the AFL's executive committee in 2007.
"He's a very knowledgeable individual, obviously, or he wouldn't be coming back in,"
The players in the locker room expressed excitement about Elway's involvement, and many believed his influence wouldn't be limited to the front office.
Elway, who retired as the all-time winningest starting quarterback in NFL history, spoke with the team "a couple of times" throughout the season. Most notably, he rallied the team before a game against the Chiefs in Week 10.
Denver responded with a 49-29 win.
"The guy, he's everything to this franchise,"
Ellis, the team's newly named president, has been the chief operating officer for the club for the past three years and is a 16-year club employee. He has ultimate responsibility for the organization as team president, and his responsibilities with the club's business operations will include speaking on behalf of Bowlen on all matters involving the franchise.
The team will hold a press conference today at 1:30 p.m. MST, which DenverBroncos.com will stream live. Check back for more on the addition of Elway to the front office later this afternoon.