ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — One of the Broncos' greatest players and several of the team's top coaches have taken the next step toward the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Ring of Fame linebacker Randy Gradishar was named among the 31 semifinalists in the Senior category for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2024, the Hall announced Wednesday.
Additionally, Ring of Fame Broncos coaches Mike Shanahan and the late Dan Reeves were both selected among the 29 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame's Coach/Contributor category. The late Alex Gibbs, the Broncos' offensive line coach during their back-to-back title run, was also named a semifinalist for the category.
Gradishar continues to knock on the Hall's door after being named a finalist three times. One of the most dominant linebackers in NFL history, Gradishar anchored the famous "Orange Crush" defense that guided the Broncos to their first Super Bowl appearance. A seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, Gradishar was the 1978 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and remains the team's all-time leading tackler.
Shanahan, a two-time Super Bowl champion, is the all-time winningest coach in Broncos history. He is one of six coaches in NFL history to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and he and Bill Belichick — who remains active — are the only two coaches from that group to not be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Denver won 46 games and two championships from 1996-98 as Shanahan oversaw one of the winningest stretches in NFL history.
Reeves, who earned four career conference championship wins, led the Broncos to three Super Bowl appearances and six playoff berths in 12 years. He later became a two-time AP Coach of the Year winner and won more than 200 games in his coaching career. Reeves participated in nine Super Bowls as either a player or coach.
Gibbs, an integral part of the Broncos' Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII championship teams, was one of the key factors in developing the Broncos' zone-blocking scheme that helped the team post a dominant rushing attack. Gibbs helped Terrell Davis to a 2,000-yard season and MVP award — and he later coached a 1,000-yard rusher in four of five seasons following the team's Super Bowl XXXIII win.
Following this round of voting, the respective committees will trim the pool to 12 finalists in each the Coach/Contributor category and the Senior category. The finalists will be announced on July 27, according to the Hall of Fame.
On Aug. 15, the Coach/Contributor committee will meet to nominate one coach or contributor for the Class of 2024. Similarly, the Senior committee will meet on Aug. 22 to choose as many as three of the candidates for final nomination to the Hall of Fame.