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Staff Directory

John Elway
Executive Vice President of Football Operations
John Elway, a dynamic leader with experience guiding organizations to World Championships as both a player and executive, enters his third season as Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos in 2013. He was named to that position by Owner Pat Bowlen on Jan. 5, 2011.
                
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame following a magnificent 16-year playing career with the Broncos from 1983-98 that included five Super Bowl appearances and two championships, Elway is responsible for overseeing all football operations initiatives for the Broncos. He directs all aspects of the team’s player acquisition process, including college scouting research related to the NFL Draft and pro personnel efforts related to free agency.
John Elway, a dynamic leader with experience guiding organizations to World Championships as both a player and executive, enters his third season as Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos in 2013. He was named to that position by Owner Pat Bowlen on Jan. 5, 2011.
                
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame following a magnificent 16-year playing career with the Broncos from 1983-98 that included five Super Bowl appearances and two championships, Elway is responsible for overseeing all football operations initiatives for the Broncos. He directs all aspects of the team’s player acquisition process, including college scouting research related to the NFL Draft and pro personnel efforts related to free agency.

Bringing a competitive and experienced football acumen to Dove Valley, Elway has infused the club’s football operations with a winning culture and a positive approach toward building a championship team. He holds final say on all football-related matters while reporting directly to Bowlen and President Joe Ellis.

Inheriting a team that finished 4-12 during the 2010 season, Elway oversaw an improvement to an 8-8 mark and an AFC West Division title in 2011, followed by a 13-3 record and the AFC’s No. 1 seed in 2012. That dramatic turnaround made Elway the first executive in the Super Bowl era to lead a four-win improvement and deliver a division title in each of his first two years with a team.

The Broncos’ 2012 campaign, which included 11 consecutive victories to end the regular season, was bolstered by the acquisition of quarterback Peyton Manning, the NFL’s only four-time Most Valuable Player who finished his first year in Denver as the runner-up for MVP in addition to capturing Comeback Player of the Year.

In addition to Manning, other key offseason signings, including safety Mike Adams, defensive tackle Justin Bannan, linebacker Keith Brooking, center Dan Koppen, wide receiver Brandon Stokley and tight ends Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme, helped Elway finish second in The Sporting News’ 2012 Executive of the Year voting.  

Overall, Elway was responsible for drafting, signing or extending the contracts for 23 of the 33 players that started for the Broncos in 2012. Included in that total was his first draft pick as an executive—linebacker Von Miller—who followed up his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign by being named to his second Pro Bowl and finishing second in voting for NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2012.

During his first year in his new role, Elway immediately made his mark as an NFL executive after guiding the Broncos to an historic turnaround in 2011. He assembled a team that became only the third since the 1970 NFL merger to win its division and a playoff game with a new head coach following four or fewer wins the previous season.

Elway’s initial decision leading the Broncos’ football operations was hiring widely respected NFL veteran John Fox as the 14th head coach in team history on Jan. 13, 2011. Fox proved to be the perfect fit for the Broncos, finishing third in the Associated Press’ NFL Coach of the Year voting after helping the franchise earn its first AFC West title and playoff victory in six seasons.

In terms of personnel, his first order of business after being named to his current post early in 2011 was the re-signing of cornerback Champ Bailey, who has since made consecutive Pro Bowl trips to bring his career total to 12—tied with Manning for the most by an active player. He also signed running back Willis McGahee prior to the 2011 season as the veteran went on to lead the NFL’s No. 1 rushing attack with 1,199 yards en route to his second career Pro Bowl selection.

Of Denver’s 16 draft selections made under Elway, 15 of them finished the 2012 season with the Broncos in some capacity. Additionally, four college free agents during the last two years appeared on the club’s active roster. The 2012 rookie class featured second-round draft choice Derek Wolfe, who became just the second defensive lineman in team history to start every game as a rookie. Elway’s initial draft in 2011, featuring Miller and right tackle Orlando Franklin, produced the second-most starts (56) in the league that season.

Elway spent the 2010 season working for the Broncos as a consultant on various initiatives after gaining a substantial amount of football operations experience during eight years as co-owner and chief executive officer of the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush (2002-09). He ran the day-to-day operations of the Crush from its founding in June 2002, leading the club to an ArenaBowl championship just three years later.

Elway was heavily involved in the Crush’s business operations, including marketing, promotions and sponsorships, with his efforts resulting in the club being recognized as a premier franchise on and off the field. He was named AFL Executive of the Year in 2003, a year in which the Crush won the Commissioner’s Award presented annually to the most outstanding AFL franchise, and was honored as co-recipient of the 2005 Founders Award for his contributions to the AFL and its growth.

During his time with the Crush, Elway worked closely with Bowlen, who served as one-third owner of the franchise beginning with its inception. He held various committee assignments, including working as co-chair of the AFL’s competition committee and chairman of the league’s executive committee beginning in 2007.

After the Crush struggled through a 2-14 inaugural season, Elway turned the fortunes of the team around by hiring Mike Dailey as its new head coach. The Crush compiled a 46-34 (.575) mark under Dailey from 2004-08, including a 6-3 record in the postseason, and captured two Central Division titles (2005-06) during his tenure.

The pinnacle of Elway’s time with the Crush came in 2005 when the club won ArenaBowl XIX in just its third year of existence by defeating the Georgia Force 51-48 in the championship game.

The starting quarterback for the Broncos in an NFL-record five Super Bowls, Elway capped off his tenure as a player for the organization in 1998 by winning Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowl XXXIII after leading the Broncos to their second consecutive World Championship. He retired as the all-time winningest starting quarterback in NFL history with a career mark of 148-82-1 (.643) while totaling a team-record 51,475 passing yards (4th in NFL history) and 300 touchdown passes (5th in NFL history).

Always driven by pressure, Elway directed the Broncos on a league-record 47 fourth-quarter or overtime, game-winning or game-saving drives in his legendary career. He also earned a franchise-record nine Pro Bowl selections and was named the Associated Press’ NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1987.

He graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in economics while concluding his collegiate playing career with five major NCAA Division I-A records and nine major Pacific-10 Conference marks. As a senior, Elway was a consensus All-American and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting in addition to setting virtually every Pac-10 and Stanford career passing record en route to being the No. 1 overall selection in the 1983 NFL Draft.

Elway’s late father, Jack, retired from the Broncos in 2000 after seven years with the club, including the last five as the team’s director of pro scouting. Born June 28, 1960, John is married (Paige) and has four children: daughters Jessica Gwen, Jordan Marie and Juliana, and son Jack.