ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Two longtime Broncos employees have received first-of-its-kind recognition from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Late former offensive line coach Alex Gibbs and former public relations vice president Jim Saccomano have been named among the winners of the inaugural Awards of Excellence.
The Hall of Fame on Monday honored individuals from four categories — assistant coaches, athletic trainers, equipment managers and public relations personnel — to recognize their contributions to the game. Five individuals in each category were honored.
"These 20 outstanding Assistant Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Equipment Managers and Public Relations personnel not only helped to determine results on the field, but they also helped to promote the game's growth, safety and popularity over several decades of devotion to their teams and to the National Football League," Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said in a statement.
Gibbs, a 47-year coaching veteran, helped revolutionize NFL offenses via his innovative zone-blocking scheme. The late offensive line coach, who passed away in July of 2021, spent 14 years with the Broncos across three separate stints and was critical to Denver's back-to-back world championships in Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII. The Broncos reached at least one Super Bowl in three different decades with Gibbs on the team's staff, but his most notable work came in 1998 as Terrell Davis rushed for 2,008 yards and 21 touchdown on his way to league MVP honors. Gibbs also worked with the Falcons, Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs, Texans and Colts during his career. Gibbs worked under three different coaches — Dan Reeves, Mike Shanahan and John Fox — during his tenure with the Broncos.
Saccomano, the longest-tenured pro sports administrator in Colorado history, worked 36 years with the Broncos, including leading the team's public relations efforts through the 2009 season. After retiring from the team in 2013, he continued to work with the team in a consulting role as the team's historian. Saccomano has worked 27 Super Bowls — six with the Broncos and 21 with the NFL's public relations team — and chaired the NFL's media relations and international committees. He also served on several other committees. Saccomano received the inaugural Pete Rozelle Award — given to the league's most outstanding public relations staff — in 1990 and also earned the Charlie Callahan Award for Public Relations. In 2013, the press box at Empower Field at Mile High was named the Jim Saccomano Press Box.
The Awards of Excellence winners were chosen by committees that set their own selection criteria, according to the Hall.
Gibbs, Saccomano and the rest of the Awards of Excellence winners will have their names displayed inside the Hall of Fame, and award recipients will be invited to the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement. The Awards of Excellence winners will also be recognized at an event in Canton, Ohio in August.