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Sacco Sez: Ed McCaffrey joins select group of Broncos

Posted Feb 10, 2018

Former Broncos WR Ed McCaffrey is the new head football coach at Valor Christian High School.

With the announcement Tuesday that former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey is the new head football coach at Valor Christian High School, "Eddie Mac" joins a small but distinguished list of former Denver players.

Most players begin other careers after football, but some stay in the game as mentors to young players in the sport.

After congratulating Ed, I began to think of other Broncos who have gone on to be head coaches either at the high school or collegiate levels, and I thought it is a list worth sharing.

Of course, there are some who have been left off this list, just because it is hard to keep track of all ex-players in all 50 states, but since a football team has eleven players, here is a list of eleven, including McCaffrey.

Jim McMillin was a defensive back for the Broncos on the original team in 1960, playing here through 1962 and then in another stint from 1964-65. But after he finished his playing career McMillin was the coach at Brighton High School. His record with the Bulldogs is unknown.

Jim Fraser was a reserve linebacker for the Broncos from 1962-64, and while he was not notable as a defensive player, he was a tremendous punter and was named an American Football League All-Star three times as a punter. Fraser was an East Coast native and like many players, he returned closer to his roots after concluding his playing career, becoming coach at the prestigious Middlesex Academy in Concord, Massachusetts. It is not known how long he coached there, or what his record was, but I have always been fascinated that the sports teams at Middlesex are the "Zebras," one of the more unique nicknames in the country.

A player who was in training camp with the Broncos but did not make the regular season roster was Tony Lindsay, and he went on to become the head coach at Denver South High School, where he took the Rebels to the Colorado Class 4A state championship game in 2012.

Until Montbello High School was consolidated and had its final graduating class in 2014, the head football coach was Ring of Famer Louis Wright, a Hall of Fame-quality cornerback who gave his time and effort teaching and coaching young people in the Denver area.

Scottie Montgomery played wide receiver for the Broncos from 2000-02 and then went into the coaching profession. Scottie is current the head coach at East Carolina University, where he is going into his third season coaching the Pirates.

One of the most notable coaching careers by a former Bronco is that of cornerback Steve Wilson, who played here from 1982-88. After his fine seven-year career with the Broncos, including Super Bowls XXI and XXII, Wilson got into coaching and had the distinction of eventually becoming the head coach at his alma mater, Howard University.

The Howard University Bison began play in 1893 and in more than a century of football their longest tenured and winningest head coach is Steve Wilson. He coached there for 13 years (1989-2001) and had a 78-67 record while leading the Bison.

The current head coach at Purdue University is not only a rising star in the college coaching profession but a former Broncos practice squad quarterback.

Jeff Brohm was a great quarterback at Louisville who was on our practice squad in 1999. Since becoming a coach he has steadily moved up, and he took Western Kentucky to consecutive Conference USA championships in 2015 and 2016. As the head coach at Purdue, Brohm led the Boilermakers to a win over Arizona in the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl.

Stretching my list to semi pro, I have to include Dan DeRose. Dan DeRose was a linebacker in camp with us in 1984 but did not make the team. However, Dan was the defensive captain of the New York Giants replacement unit under coordinator Bill Belichick in 1987, and he then went on to be the head coach of the Pueblo Crusaders semi-pro team that won the league championship in 1989.

By far the most notable careers in high school and college coaching belong to the final three men on this list.

One is of course Dave Logan, certainly one of the greatest athletes ever produced at the University of Colorado and one of just three people to be drafted in football, basketball and baseball.

Logan is the head coach at Cherry Creek High School and has 256 total prep victories and seven state championships. His titles came at four different schools and he is the only head coach in national history to win seven state titles, all at the highest classification of play, at four different schools. The second place individual is long retired and won three at three schools in North Carolina.

My opinion is that Logan's astonishing national record will never be broken.

Billy Joe was the AFL Rookie of the Year as the Broncos' fullback in 1963 and played here until being traded to Buffalo in 1965, where he made the AFL All-Star team.

But Billy Joe's greatest success came after pro football when he coached in college from 1972 through 2010, including 33 years as head coach.

His schools included Central State University, where Joe's teams won NAIA National Football Championships in 1990 and 1902 and made regular playoff appearances. He also won five straight black college national championships at Central State and one with Florida A&M.

Billy Joe was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007, finishing his career with 243 wins and 133 losses.

Bob Wade was a reserve cornerback for the Broncos in 1970. He had one interception for the Broncos that year and bounced around with a few NFL teams, but really made his mark when he became a basketball coach.

He was the legendary head coach at the equally legendary Baltimore Dunbar High School from 1975-86, where he compiled a 341-25 record as a prep basketball coach, and then he moved on to the University of Maryland, where he coached from 1986-89.

While at Dunbar, Wade was the USA Today National Coach of the Year in 1983. In his two best seasons at Dunbar (1981-83) Wade's teams were a combined 60-0.

And now Ed MCaffrey joins the list of former Broncos in coaching. He always had great organizational skills and discipline as a player who was a three-time Super Bowl champion, twice with the Broncos and one with the San Francisco 49ers.

He has always been greatly interested in the value of school. On many occasions I have praised him and his wife Lisa for the athletic accomplishments of their sons, and Ed always turns the topic to hard work, academics and perseverance.

I have no doubt that he will make his mark at Valor in joining this list of former Broncos who have succeeded in coaching and molding young people at the high school and college levels.