John Elway

John Albert Elway Jr. (born June 28, 1960) is a former American football quarterback who is currently general manager and president of football operations of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL).

Elway played college football at Stanford and his entire 16-year professional career with the Denver Broncos. At the time of his retirement in early 1999, Elway had recorded the most victories by a starting quarterback and statistically was the second most prolific passer in NFL history. He was also a prolific rusher of the ball, being one of only two players ever to score a rushing touchdown in four different Super Bowls (the other being Thurman Thomas) and the only quarterback to do so.[1][2]

Elway set several career records for passing attempts and completions while at Stanford and also received All-American honors. He was the first selection in the 1983 NFL Draft, famously known as the quarterback class of 1983, where he was taken by the Baltimore Colts before being traded to the Denver Broncos. In January 1987, Elway embarked on one of the most notable performances in sports and in NFL history, helping engineer a 98-yard, game-tying touchdown drive in the AFC Championship Game against the Cleveland Browns. The moment is known in National Football League lore as "The Drive." Following that game in Cleveland, Elway and the Broncos lost in Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants.

After two more Super Bowl losses, the Broncos entered a period of decline; however, that ended during the 1997 season, as Elway and Denver won their first Super Bowl title by defeating the Green Bay Packers 31–24 in Super Bowl XXXII. The Broncos repeated as champions the following season in Super Bowl XXXIII by defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34–19. Elway was voted MVP of that Super Bowl, which was the last game of his career, and in doing so Elway set a then-record five Super Bowl starts which was broken in February 2015 when Tom Brady of the New England Patriots started Super Bowl XLIX. As Denver's quarterback, Elway led his teams to six AFC Championship Games and five Super Bowls, winning two. After his retirement as a player, he served as general manager and executive vice president of football operations of the Broncos, which won four division titles, two AFC Championships, and Super Bowl 50 during his tenure. Elway has been a member of the Broncos organization for all three of their Super Bowl victories, two as a player and one as an executive.

Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 in his first year of eligibility and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

John Elway
refer to caption
Elway in December 2004
Denver Broncos
Personal information
Born:June 28, 1960 (age 58)
Port Angeles, Washington
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Granada Hills (CA)
NFL Draft:1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
As player:
As administrator:
Career highlights and awards
As a player:

As a general manager:

Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:51,475
Completion percentage:56.9
Passer rating:79.9
Rushing yards:3,407
Rushing touchdowns:33
Player stats at

Early life

Elway and his twin sister were born in Port Angeles, Washington, to Janet (née Jordan) and Jack Elway, then the head coach at Port Angeles High School on the Olympic Peninsula. The family of five included sister Lee Ann, a year older than the twins. They moved the following year to southwestern Washington, where Jack was the junior college head football coach at Grays Harbor Community College in Aberdeen for five seasons. As a youth, Elway lived primarily in Missoula, Montana, and Pullman, Washington,[3] when his father was an assistant coach at Montana and Washington State, respectively.

In February 1976, Jack joined the staff at Palouse neighbor Idaho,[4][5] but a month later became the head coach at Cal State-Northridge,[6] a Division II program in Southern California. The family moved after John's freshman year at Pullman High School to the San Fernando Valley,[3] where he played his final three years of football at Granada Hills High School in Granada Hills, under head coaches Jack Neumeier and Tom Richards.[7][8] Despite missing five games with a knee injury as a senior,[9] he ended his high school career with 5,711 passing yards and 49 passing touchdowns,[10] and was named to the PARADE All America High School Football Team, along with future NFL stars, quarterback Dan Marino and running back Eric Dickerson.[11]

Known as a dual-threat quarterback, meaning he was accomplished at running and escaping pressure and had impressive passing ability, he was the number-one recruited high school player in the country, receiving over 60 scholarship offers. (One of those offers was from his father, who became the head coach at San Jose State following the 1978 season.) Also an accomplished baseball player, Elway was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 18th round of the 1979 Major League Baseball draft.[12] (The Royals also selected Marino in the fourth round of the same draft.)[13][14]

College career

In 1979, he enrolled at Stanford University, where he played football and baseball. In his senior season in 1982, Stanford was 5-5 and needed to win its final game, the Big Game against California, to secure an invitation to the Hall of Fame Classic bowl game. With two minutes remaining in the game, Stanford was down 19-17 and had 4th-and-17 on their own 13-yard line. Elway completed a 29-yard pass and drove the ball downfield to the 35-yard line, where Mark Harmon kicked what appeared to be the winning field goal. However, the clock had four seconds remaining, so Stanford had to kick off. What followed is now simply known as "The Play", in which Cal players lateraled the ball, rugby-style, five times – two of them controversial – and scored a touchdown to win the game, 25-20. Elway was bitter about the game afterward, stating that the officials "ruined my last game as a college football player."[15] Stanford athletics director Andy Geiger said the loss cost Elway the Heisman Trophy. Twenty years later, Elway came to terms with The Play, saying that "each year it gets a little funnier."[16]

Although Elway never led his team to a bowl game, he had an accomplished college career. In his four seasons (1979–1982) at Stanford, he completed 774 passes for 9,349 yards and 77 touchdowns. Stanford had a 20–23 record during his tenure. Elway's 24 touchdown passes in 1982 led the nation, and at the conclusion of his career, he held nearly every Pacific-10 record for passing and total offense. He won the Pac-10 Player of the Year honors in 1980 and 1982, was a consensus All-American, and finished second in Heisman Trophy balloting as a senior.[17] In 2000, Elway was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2007, Elway was ranked #15 on ESPN's Top 25 Players In College Football History list. He passed for over 200 yards in 30 of his 42 collegiate games.

Elway also excelled as a baseball player. He was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 1981 Major League Baseball draft (52nd overall, six spots ahead of future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn), and received $150,000 for playing for the Yankees' short season affiliate Oneonta Yankees in the New York–Penn League in the summer of 1982.[18] Yankees scout Gary Hughes believed that had Elway concentrated on baseball "the sky was the limit … he would've been off the charts". Yankees owner George Steinbrenner—who aggressively sought Elway's services—reportedly planned to make him the Yankees' starting right fielder by 1985, which Elway—aware of Steinbrenner's opinion—later described as "a tremendous [and] exciting thought".[19]

Elway graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics, and he is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.[8][20] Already age 19 when he entered as a freshman, Elway did not use a redshirt year at Stanford.

Professional career

1983 NFL Draft

In the 1983 NFL Draft, Elway was selected as the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts. Elway was wary of playing for the Colts, among the worst teams in the league at the time, and his father advised him against playing for head coach Frank Kush, who had a reputation as a harsh taskmaster. While Elway preferred football, his agent Marvin Demoff later stated that baseball was "a true option" for him at the time. The possibility gave Elway leverage in negotiations with the Colts.[19]

After unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate a private agreement with the Colts in which Elway would cite his alleged desire to remain on the West coast to explain the team trading him, Elway publicly threatened to join the Yankees full-time if the Colts did not trade him; Demoff wrote in his journal, published three decades later, that "he would be a garbage collector before he'd play for Baltimore." Elway's refusal to join the Colts was controversial— Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw denounced him, stating "you should play baseball … he's not the kind of guy you win championships with"—but many other NFL teams began negotiations with the Colts for the quarterback. One possibility was trading Elway for the San Francisco 49ers' Joe Montana, whose team had had a poor season in 1982. Another was a trade with the San Diego Chargers, which was negotiating a new contract with its star quarterback Dan Fouts. The New England Patriots were interested, but the Colts did not wish to trade Elway to a team in the same division.[19]

The Colts' general manager Ernie Accorsi wanted Elway as, Accorsi later said, he did not foresee the 1984 Draft as producing any first-round quarterbacks. Accorsi announced Elway as the team's choice as soon as possible during the 15-minute window on draft day, surprising observers. Elway that day reiterated his wish to not play for the Colts at a press conference, saying "As I stand here right now, I'm playing baseball". (When a reporter pointed out that the Yankees were not based on the West coast, Elway replied "They play baseball during the summertime".) The Colts, however, were interested in offensive lineman Chris Hinton, who the Denver Broncos had chosen as the fourth pick in the first round. On May 2, Colts owner Robert Irsay and Accorsi agreed to trade Elway for Hinton, backup quarterback Mark Herrmann, and a first-round pick in the 1984 Draft.[19] The Colts controversial relocation to Indianapolis the following year would later prove to somewhat vindicate Jack Elway's concerns, and that franchise would largely struggle until the arrival of Peyton Manning during Elway's last season as a player.[19]

Denver Broncos

Elway joined Denver as one of the most highly anticipated athletes in the history of the NFL.[21] The local newspapers ran a section that was called "The Elway Watch."[21] Elway debuted for the Broncos in the 1983 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Three Rivers Stadium. He was sacked for the first time in his NFL career at the hands of linebacker and fellow Hall of Famer Jack Lambert.[22] In his first game, Elway was relieved by veteran quarterback Steve DeBerg, who led the Broncos to a victory. Elway's second game was also on the road at Baltimore, and was spirited by his rejection of the franchise. In what would turn out to be Elway's only professional game in Baltimore,[23] Elway was again relieved in a close game by DeBerg, who led the Broncos to another win.[24] In early October, DeBerg was named the starter by third-year head coach Dan Reeves for the remainder of the season,[25] but a shoulder injury brought Elway back a month later.[26][27] Although the Broncos were playoff contenders for his early years, Elway went through the normal growing pains of a young NFL quarterback.

In the 1986 season, Elway led the Broncos to Super Bowl XXI, after defeating the Cleveland Browns on a famous possession at the end of the fourth quarter that became known as "The Drive." (In a span of 5 minutes and 2 seconds, Elway led his team 98 yards to tie the game with 37 seconds left in regulation. The Broncos went on to win the game in overtime.) Elway and the Broncos started out the Super Bowl against the New York Giants very well, building a 10–7 lead and then driving to the Giants 1-yard line in the second quarter. However, the Broncos lost five yards on their next three plays and came up empty after kicker Rich Karlis missed the field goal attempt. From that point on, the rest of the game went downhill for the Broncos. Elway was sacked in the end zone for a safety on the Broncos ensuing possession, cutting their lead to 10–9. Then in the second half, the Giants scored 30 points and ended up winning the game 39–20. Still, Elway had an impressive performance, throwing for 304 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, while also leading Denver in rushing with 27 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

1987 Atlanta Falcons Pocket Schedule (crop)
Elway (center) getting tackled by the Atlanta Falcons in 1985

In the 1987 season, Elway was selected to start in the American Football Conference's (AFC) Pro Bowl team and won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. He went on to once again lead the Broncos to a victory over the Browns in the AFC title game, earning their second consecutive Super Bowl appearance, this one against the Washington Redskins. The game started out very well for Denver, and they built up a 10–0 lead by the end of the first quarter. At the time, no team had ever overcome a 10–0 deficit in the Super Bowl. But in the second quarter, the Redskins suddenly stormed back with a record 35 points, and ended up winning Super Bowl XXII 42–10. Elway did have a few highlights. His 56-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Nattiel after just 1:57 had elapsed in the game set a record for the fastest touchdown in Super Bowl history, at the time. He also became the first quarterback ever to catch a pass in the Super Bowl, recording a 23-yard reception from halfback Steve Sewell on a halfback option play. With a porous defense unable to stop the Redskins offense, Elway was forced to take more risks on the offensive end. As a result, Elway's performance was rather disappointing: just 14 out of 38 completions for 257 yards and one touchdown, with three interceptions.

After recording an 8–8 record in 1988, Elway once again led his team to the Super Bowl after the 1989 season, with yet another win over the Browns in the AFC championship game, going on to face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV. However this game ended even worse for the Broncos than their previous Super Bowl losses. San Francisco blew out Denver 55–10, the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history. Although Elway scored the only touchdown for his team on a three-yard run, his performance was abysmal: 10 out of 26 completions for 108 yards with no touchdown passes and two interceptions. But he didn't try to hide from the media after the game or downplay his dismal performance. And when he was asked if he wanted to go back to the Super Bowl after three losses, he responded that he wanted to go back every year, even if his team kept losing. Still by this point, many doubted that he would ever win a Super Bowl in his career.

It took Elway another eight years, but he eventually led his team back to the Super Bowl, following the 1997 season. During the preseason American Bowl game in Mexico City, Elway ruptured his right (throwing arm) biceps tendon. It was treated non-surgically, and he returned to play 19 days later, and the team advanced to Super Bowl XXXII, Elway's fourth, where they faced the Green Bay Packers, the defending champions. Despite Elway completing only 11 of 22 passes, throwing no touchdowns, but one interception, the Broncos defeated the Packers 31–24, winning their first Super Bowl, after three failed attempts for Elway (and four for the team).

In the 1998 season, the Broncos repeated this feat and Elway was named MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII, throwing for 336 yards and one touchdown with one interception, while also scoring a rushing touchdown in Denver's 34–19 win over the Atlanta Falcons. It was his last game, other than the 1999 Pro Bowl.


David Petraeus, Lynn Swann, Roger Craig, John Elway, Roger Goodell at Super Bowl 43
Elway (second from right) at Super Bowl XLIII with Lynn Swann, Roger Craig, Roger Goodell, and General David Petraeus

On May 2, 1999, at the age of 38, Elway announced his retirement from professional football. Elway is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks ever to play the game. He has one of the best winning percentages in league history (148–82–1), and is tied for second most Pro Bowl selections for a quarterback (nine). As of 2016, he is sixth to Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady in career passing attempts, passing yards, and completions.[28] He also ranks seventh in career passing touchdowns, with 300. His four total rushing touchdowns in his Super Bowl games are the most ever by a quarterback. As of 2012, Elway and Tom Brady are the only quarterbacks to start in 5 Super Bowls. He is also the second player ever to score a rushing touchdown in four different Super Bowls (running back Thurman Thomas was the first).

On September 13, 1999, Elway's number 7 jersey was retired by the Denver Broncos during halftime of a Monday Night game against the Miami Dolphins; that same night he was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. (Craig Morton, his direct predecessor in Denver, also wore number 7 and is in the Ring of Fame alongside Elway). He was the first Broncos player to have the five-year waiting period waived. Also in 1999 he was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.

Also in 1999, Elway was ranked number 16 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players,[29] the only player to have spent the majority of his career with the Broncos to make the list (Willie Brown, who began his career with the Broncos but spent more of it with the Oakland Raiders, also made the list). In 2005, TSN published another special feature honoring the 50 Greatest Quarterbacks. Elway was ranked third behind Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana.

Elway was named the greatest athlete wearing the #7 by Sports Illustrated. Current Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who grew up idolizing Elway and Joe Montana, wears number 7 in honor of Elway.[30]

Notable statistics

Elway ended his career with a record 148 victories, since surpassed by Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady for most wins by a starting quarterback. He finished his career with 774 rushing attempts, currently third in league history behind Randall Cunningham (775) and Michael Vick (873). Elway's 3,407 rushing yards ranks sixth all-time among NFL QB's behind Cunningham, Vick, Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton, and Steve McNair.

Elway threw for 1,128 yards in his five Super Bowls, fourth most behind Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, and Joe Montana. His 76 Super Bowl pass completions rank fifth, and his 152 attempts were a Super Bowl record before being broken by Tom Brady. He is one of only two players ever to score a rushing touchdown in four different Super Bowls (the other being Thurman Thomas) and the only quarterback to do so. (156 attempts) [1][2]

As of 2017's NFL off-season, Elway held at least 33 Broncos franchise records, including:

  • Completions: career (4,123), playoffs (355), rookie season (123)
  • Pass Attempts: career (7,250), game (59 on 1993-10-10 @GNB; with Peyton Manning), playoffs (651), rookie season (259 in 1983), rookie game (44 on 1983-12-11 BAL )
  • Passing Yards: career (51,475), playoffs (4,964), rookie game (345 on 1983-12-11 BAL )
  • Passing Touchdowns: career (300), playoffs (27), playoff season (6 in 1987), playoff game (3 on 1988-01-17 CLE, 1990-01-14 CLE, and 1994-01-09 @RAI; with Peyton Manning)
  • Intercepted: career (226), playoffs (21), playoff season (5 in 1987)
  • Sacked: career (516), game (7 on 1989-10-29 PHI and 1993-10-18 RAI; with Tim Tebow), playoffs (39), playoff game (5 on 1988-01-31 NWAS; with Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning), rookie season (28 in 1983)
  • Yds/Pass Att: playoffs (7.63), rookie game (11.83 on 1983-12-04 CLE)
  • Rush Yds/Att: playoff season (6.73 in 1986)
  • 300+ yard passing games: career (40), playoffs (4), rookie season (1; with Marlin Briscoe and Tim Tebow)
  • Most Total Offensive Yards: 54,882 yards (51,475 passing, 3,407 rushing)
  • Most Total Touchdowns: 334 (300 passing, 33 rushing, 1 receiving)
  • Most Total Plays: 8,027
  • Winning Percentage: .641 (148–82–1)

Hall of Fame

On August 8, 2004, Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was elected in his first year of eligibility. He was presented by his eldest daughter Jessica. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.[31]

Career highlights

  • In 1979, Elway was drafted out of high school by the Kansas City Royals to play baseball in Major League Baseball. George Brett, the future Hall of Fame third baseman for the Royals, is said to have remarked, "I hope this guy plays football."
  • In the 1981 MLB Draft, Elway was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round.[32] The following year, he played outfield in 42 games for the Oneonta Yankees of the Class A New York–Penn League.[33] He had a .318 batting average, with four home runs, 13 stolen bases,[34] and a team-high 25 RBI.[33][35]
  • In the 1983 NFL Draft, Elway was selected as the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts, and on May 2, was traded to the Denver Broncos.
  • On January 11, 1987, Elway executed "The Drive"—a last-ditch, five-minute, 15-play, 98-yard touchdown drive in the AFC Championship against the Cleveland Browns to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, leading to an overtime win by field goal (by Rich Karlis) for the Broncos. It included six passes made (nine attempted), five rushes and an eight-yard sack. He was named the NFL Most Valuable Player and the AFC Offensive MVP.
  • Elway is the only player to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 200 yards in seven straight seasons (1985–91).[36]
  • Elway was named the AFC Offensive MVP in 1993 when he passed for 4,030 yards and 25 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 92.8.
  • In 1997, Elway led the Broncos to their first ever Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXXII. His three previous attempts in Super Bowls XXI, XXII and XXIV were unsuccessful.
  • Elway is one of only two players to rush for a touchdown in four Super Bowls (XXI, XXIV, XXXII, XXXIII). Thurman Thomas is the other.
  • On January 31, 1999, in Super Bowl XXXIII, Elway passed for 336 yards in a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. He was named the Super Bowl MVP.
  • Elway was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times during his 16 seasons with the Broncos, a franchise record.
  • Over his professional career, Elway led Denver to 35 comeback wins in the 4th quarter & overtime, tied for third with Johnny Unitas.[37]
  • Elway's 148 wins place him fourth behind Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady for career wins among quarterbacks.
  • Elway was sacked 516 times, second to Favre for most times sacked in NFL history.
  • Elway's 300 career touchdown passes places him tenth behind Favre, Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Elway is one of six quarterbacks to pass for at least 3,000 yards in 12 seasons; Favre, Marino, Brees, Brady and Manning are the others.
  • On January 31, 2004, Elway was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[38]
  • Elway's No. 7 Stanford Cardinal jersey was retired on November 7, 2013, at halftime during the Stanford-Oregon game.[39]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Rushing
G GS Comp Att Yards TD Int Rtg Att Yards Avg TD
1983 DEN 11 10 123 259 1,663 7 14 54.9 28 146 5.2 1
1984 DEN 15 14 214 380 2,598 18 15 76.8 56 237 4.2 1
1985 DEN 16 16 327 605 3,891 22 23 70.2 51 253 5.0 0
1986 DEN 16 16 280 504 3,485 19 13 79.0 52 257 4.9 1
1987 DEN 12 12 224 410 3,198 19 12 83.4 66 304 4.6 4
1988 DEN 15 15 274 496 3,309 17 19 71.4 54 234 4.3 1
1989 DEN 15 15 223 416 3,051 18 18 73.7 48 244 5.1 3
1990 DEN 16 16 294 502 3,526 15 14 78.5 50 258 5.2 3
1991 DEN 16 16 242 451 3,253 13 12 75.4 55 255 4.6 6
1992 DEN 12 12 174 316 2,242 10 17 65.7 34 94 2.8 2
1993 DEN 16 16 348 551 4,030 25 10 92.8 44 153 3.5 0
1994 DEN 14 14 307 494 3,490 16 10 85.7 58 235 4.1 4
1995 DEN 16 16 316 542 3,970 26 14 86.4 41 176 4.3 1
1996 DEN 15 15 287 466 3,328 26 14 89.2 50 249 5.0 4
1997 DEN 16 16 280 502 3,635 27 11 87.5 50 218 4.4 1
1998 DEN 13 12 210 356 2,806 22 10 93.0 37 94 2.5 1
Career 234 231 4,123 7,250 51,475 300 226 79.9 774 3,407 4.4 33


Year Team Games Passing Rushing
G GS Comp Att Yards TD Int Att Yards Avg TD
1983 DEN 1 0 10 15 123 0 1 3 16 5.3 0
1984 DEN 1 1 19 37 184 2 2 4 16 4.0 0
1986 DEN 3 3 57 107 805 3 4 15 101 6.7 2
1987 DEN 3 3 42 89 797 6 5 18 76 4.2 1
1989 DEN 3 3 42 82 732 4 3 16 91 5.7 1
1991 DEN 2 2 30 54 378 1 2 10 49 4.9 0
1993 DEN 1 1 29 47 302 3 1 5 23 4.6 0
1996 DEN 1 1 25 38 226 2 0 5 30 6.0 0
1997 DEN 4 4 56 96 726 3 2 9 25 2.8 1
1998 DEN 3 3 45 86 691 3 1 9 34 3.8 1
Career 22 21 355 651 4,964 27 21 94 461 4.9 6

Business activities

Elway was co-owner of the Arena Football team Colorado Crush, from their inception in 2002 until the cancellation of the Arena Football League after the 2008 season. In February 2007, Elway was elected chairman of the AFL's executive committee.[40] On August 4, 2009, the Arena Football League announced an indefinite suspension of operations.[41] Elway was one of the 17 remaining franchise owners that voted to suspend operations indefinitely.[42]

Elway is the owner of four steakhouse restaurants, each named "Elway's": One is located in the upscale Cherry Creek shopping district, one in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Denver, one in Vail, and one in the Denver International Airport[43][44]

Elway owned five auto dealerships, called John Elway Autos, in the Denver area. He sold them to AutoNation Inc. in 1997 for $82.5 million. In December 2006, Elway ended a nine-year licensing agreement with AutoNation, removing his name from Denver-area dealerships. At the time, Elway said the move could allow him to get back into the auto business under his own name.[43] He still owns two Toyota Scion dealerships, one in Manhattan Beach, California[45][46] and another in Ontario, California,[47][48] a Chevrolet dealership in Englewood, Colorado,[49] and a Chrysler Jeep dealership in Greeley, Colorado.[50]

In September 2008, Elway became the spokesperson for[51]

Elway had LASIK eye surgery and endorsed Icon LASIK in the Denver area in November 2008.[52]

Elway currently offers his commentary on the Broncos and the NFL season as a whole Friday mornings during the football season on 87.7 The Ticket in Denver.

Executive career

In December 2010, Elway expressed interest in working as the Broncos' top football executive, after having dinner with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen. However, he expressed no interest in being a head coach or general manager after Josh McDaniels' firing, saying, "I'm not interested in being a head coach. I'm not interested in being a general manager. I don't have that kind of experience to be able to pick those players day in and day out and such."[53]

On January 5, 2011, Elway was named general manager and executive vice president of football operations of the Broncos, with the final say in all football matters. In this capacity, he reports to team president Joe Ellis and is the immediate supervisor for the head coach of the team. General manager Brian Xanders was actually retained, but served mostly in an advisory role to Elway.[54] Xanders left the team after the 2011 season, and Elway assumed the role of general manager which gave him complete control over the football side of the Broncos operation.

Under Elway's management, the team signed free agent quarterback Peyton Manning who had just been released by the Indianapolis Colts. In four seasons from 2012 to 2015, the Broncos won four division titles, two AFC Championships, and reached Super Bowl XLVIII where they were soundly defeated 43-8 by the Seattle Seahawks despite holding the regular season's top offense.

Elway responded to the Super Bowl loss by signing defensive end DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib, and safety T. J. Ward for the 2014 season. After losing in the divisional playoffs to the Indianapolis Colts, Elway dismissed John Fox, who had won four divisional championships in his four years as Broncos head coach.

Elway hired Gary Kubiak, his former backup quarterback and former Broncos offensive coordinator, as the new head coach for the 2015 season. Elway and Kubiak also brought back Wade Phillips, a former Broncos head coach, for his second stint as the team's defensive coordinator.[55][56] Elway won a third Super Bowl as part of the Broncos franchise, when on February 7, 2016 Denver defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50. This gave him his first Super Bowl win as Executive VP/GM, to go along with the two he won as the team's quarterback.


Elway married Janet Buchan, who attended Stanford University and competed on its swimming team, in 1984. They separated in 2002 and divorced in 2003. They have four children: Jessica, Jordan, Jack, and Juliana.[57]

  • Jessica Gwen Elway was a student at Stanford University. During her freshman year, she was a member of the Stanford women's basketball team. However, she did not rejoin the team for her sophomore year. Jessica gave an introduction speech for her father at his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, becoming the first daughter to ever introduce her father as an inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • John Albert "Jack" Elway III played quarterback at Cherry Creek High School in Colorado, receiving All-State honors his senior year, graduating in 2008. John worked as the quarterback coach for Cherry Creek for Jack's senior year.[58] Jack signed to play quarterback for Arizona State University but left the team in April 2009.[59][60] ASU's head coach Dennis Erickson was his grandfather Jack's first offensive coordinator, from 1979–81, at San José State, the elder Jack's first Division I head coaching job.

Elway's twin sister, Jana, developed lung cancer and died at the age of 42 in the summer of 2002. John's father, Jack, died of an apparent heart attack a year earlier.

Elway met former Oakland Raiders cheerleader Paige Green in in 2005 at a celebrity golf tournament held by former Raiders running back Marcus Allen in Los Angeles.[57] They were engaged in Italy in September 2008,[57][61] and married in August 2009.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Super Bowl Records: Individual Passing",
  2. ^ a b "Super Bowl Leaders",
  3. ^ a b Pierce, Oliver (January 23, 1987). "From Pullman to Pasadena". Idahonian. Moscow. p. 17.
  4. ^ "Jack Elway joins Idaho grid staff". Spokesman-Review. February 18, 1976. p. 16.
  5. ^ "Idaho staff adds Elway". Kingman Daily Miner. Arizona. Associated Press. February 18, 1976. p. 14.
  6. ^ "Cal-Northridge names new coach". Tuscaloosa News. Alabama. Associated Press. March 25, 1976. p. 18.
  7. ^ LYNCH, JOHN (October 12, 1986). "THE HIGH SCHOOLS : Hampton Does Unto Defenses Before They Can Do Unto Him" – via LA Times.
  8. ^ a b Reilly, Rick (May 10, 1983). "Elway's 'just one of the boys'". Eugene Register-Guard. (Denver Post). p. 1C.
  9. ^ Rich, Tosches (July 26, 1979). "Jack Elway now a troubled man". Ellensburg Daily Record. UPI. p. 10.
  10. ^ Van Sickel, Charlie (December 5, 1980). "Walden: 'That's great'". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. 28.
  11. ^ Cohen, Haskell (December 31, 1978). "Parade's All American High School Football Team". Spokesman-Review. Parade magazine. p. 12, Parade.
  12. ^ "18th Round of the 1979 MLB June Amateur Draft". Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  13. ^ "4th Round of the 1979 MLB June Amateur Draft". Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  14. ^ Hecht, Steve (June 28, 1979). "NCAA ruling spurs Marino to choose Pitt over pros". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 10.
  15. ^ Miller, Johnny (November 18, 2007). "Stanford's Elway bitter after Big Game loss to Cal in 1982". San Francisco Chronicle.
  16. ^ Krentzman, Jackie (Nov–Dec 2002). "And The Band Played On". Stanford Alumni Magazine.
  17. ^ Elway finished second to Herschel Walker, 1982 Heisman Trophy Voting Archived January 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Rotto, Ray (October 17, 1982). "the delicious dilemma of John Elway". Tuscalsoosa News. Family Weekly magazine. p. 6, Family Weekly.
  19. ^ a b c d e "Elway to Marino". 30 for 30. Season 2. 2013-04-23. ESPN.
  20. ^ "Delta Tau Delta: Beta Rho Chapter – Stanford University". Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  21. ^ a b Looney, Douglas S. (August 15, 1983). "In Denver, delirium Is spelled E-l-w-a-y" (PDF). Sports Illustrated. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2015.
  22. ^ "Elway hurt; DeBerg directs Broncos win". Gadsden Times. Alabama. Associated Press. September 5, 1983. p. B4.
  23. ^ The Colts moved to Indianapolis prior to the 1984 season. Although Baltimore received a new franchise that commenced play in 1996, that team (the Ravens) only played the Broncos once, in Denver, during Elway's final three professional seasons.
  24. ^ "Denver's DeBerg keeps rescuing $5 million man". Palm Beach Post. wire services. September 13, 1983. p. D6.
  25. ^ "Struggling Broncos bench Elway, DeBerg starter for rest of season". Montreal Gazette. UPI. October 6, 1983. p. D-14.
  26. ^ "Elway back as starter after Broncos lose DeBerg". Montreal Gazette. news services. November 8, 1983. p. D10.
  27. ^ Cour, Jim (December 23, 1983). "Broncos to bench Elway, start DeBerg". Evening News. Newburgh-Beacon, New York. Associated Press. p. 2B.
  28. ^ "NFL Career Passes Completed Leaders". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on November 3, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
  29. ^ "Football's 100 Greatest Players". The Sporting News. Archived from the original on November 5, 2005. Retrieved September 22, 2009.
  30. ^ Wilbon, Michael (January 23, 2006). "Big Ben, Already Like Clockwork". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  31. ^ "John Elway". College Football Hall of Fame. Football Foundation. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  32. ^ "Six QBs picked in first round shared history". CNN. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  33. ^ a b "John Elway: Master of the Drive". CNN. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  34. ^ "John Elway Minor League Statistics & History". June 28, 1960. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  35. ^ "Sporting News – NFL – NCAA – NBA – MLB – NASCAR – UFC – WWE". Sporting News. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008.
  36. ^ "Broncos Official Website, Ring of Fame page". Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  37. ^ "Quarterbacks and fourth quarter comebacks, Part 1",
  38. ^ "Hall of Famers » JOHN ELWAY". Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  39. ^ Kurt Svoboda. "Stanford to Retire Elway's No. 7". Archived from the original on October 13, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  40. ^ Elway to chair Arena League executive committee
  41. ^ "Sports – Sports News, Fantasy Scores, Sports Video". Archived from the original on January 26, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  42. ^ Irv Moss, "Arena Football League suspended indefinitely", The Denver Post, August 4, 2009
  43. ^ a b, Elway expands business empire, opening new steakhouse
  44. ^ "Home". Elway's. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  45. ^ Manhattan Beach Toyota, John Elway's Manhattan Beach Toyota
  46. ^ Manhattan Beach Scion, Manhattan Beach Scion
  47. ^ Crown Toyota, John Elway's Crown Toyota
  48. ^ Crown Scion, John Elway's Crown Scion
  49. ^ John Elway Chevrolet, John Elway Chevrolet
  50. ^ John Elway Chrysler, John Elway Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
  51. ^ "John Elway signs with OPEN". Reuters. September 3, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  52. ^ John Elway LASIK John Elway selected ICON LASIK in Denver
  53. ^ "John Elway expresses interest in joining Broncos' executive staff".
  54. ^ Klis, Mike; Legwold, Jeff (January 5, 2011). "Broncos officially announce Elway hire, promote Ellis to president". Denver Post.
  55. ^ "John Fox's role on Broncos not forgotten, but much about Super Bowl will be". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  56. ^ "Wild Ride: Tale of Super Bowl 50 champs Broncos". Sports Illustrated.
  57. ^ a b c Husted, Bill (September 26, 2008). "John Elway to marry ex-Raiders cheerleader". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  58. ^ "John Elway Joins Cherry Creek as QB Coach – 23 Aug 2007". August 23, 2007. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  59. ^ "Jack Elway Signs Letter of Intent with ASU – 6 Feb 2008". February 6, 2008. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  60. ^ "Jack Elway, son of John Elway, leaving Arizona State Sun Devils football team". ESPN. April 7, 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  61. ^ "John Elway engaged to former Raiders cheerleader: Broncos". The Rocky Mountain News. September 26, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2010.


  • The Associated Press, "Clock runs out on Elway", Arizona Daily Wildcat, May 3, 1999.
  • Ivan Carter, "KC helped make Elway a star", The Kansas City Star, August 8, 2004, p. C8.

External links

1984 Stanford Cardinal football team

The 1984 Stanford Cardinal football team represented Stanford University during the 1984 NCAA Division I-A football season. Jack Elway, father of John Elway, who had graduated two years earlier, was hired as head coach from San Jose State. Elway's Spartans had defeated Stanford the previous three years.

1986 Denver Broncos season

In 1986 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 27th year in professional football and its 17th with the National Football League (NFL). They finished the regular season with a record of 11–5, returned to the playoffs after a one-year absence, won the AFC Championship over the Cleveland Browns, and lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants.

1987 Denver Broncos season

The 1987 Denver Broncos season was the team's 28th year in professional football and its 18th with the National Football League (NFL). Games scheduled during the third week of the season were cancelled, and games played from weeks 4 to 6 were played with replacement teams. The Broncos finished first in the AFC West, and were AFC Champions for the second straight year. Quarterback John Elway was voted league MVP for 1987.

1996 Denver Broncos season

The 1996 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 27th season in the National Football League, and the 37th overall. The Broncos finished the season with 13 wins and 3 losses, winning the AFC West and earning the top seed in the AFC Playoffs. They were defeated, however, by a score of 30–27 by the 9–7 Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional round. John Elway says that the Jaguars loss was probably the most embarrassing loss of his career up to that point, because they were the top seeded team in the NFL and were favored to win the Super Bowl by many.

1998 Denver Broncos season

The 1998 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 29th season in the National Football League, and the 39th overall. The Broncos entered the season as the defending Super Bowl champions and looked to become only the fifth team in league history to win consecutive Super Bowls.

Finishing with a record of 12-4 the previous year, the Broncos improved on that mark by two wins and tied the Atlanta Falcons for second best record at 14-2. They won their first thirteen games, the best start since the unbeaten 1972 Dolphins.

After sixteen seasons, John Elway retired following the Super Bowl. He finished his Broncos career with 51,475 yards passing and 300 touchdowns. Until Peyton Manning won in Super Bowl 50, Elway stood as the only Broncos quarterback to win a Super Bowl. However, Elway even played a large role in that victory as the general manager and president of football operations for the Broncos.

Running back Terrell Davis set a team single season rushing mark. His final total was 2,008 yards, making him only the fourth player to rush for over 2,000 yards in single season.

In 2007, the 1998 Broncos were ranked as the 12th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary series America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.

1998 Pro Bowl

The 1998 Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 1997 season. The game was played on February 1, 1998, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was AFC 29, NFC 24. Warren Moon of the Seattle Seahawks, invited to participate because of an injury to John Elway, was the game's MVP. The referee was Gary Lane. The halftime show was Montell Jordan.

1999 Pro Bowl

The 1999 Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 1998 season. The game was played on February 7, 1999, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The final score was AFC 23, NFC 10. Keyshawn Johnson of the New York Jets and Ty Law of the New England Patriots were the game's MVPs. This game was also the last game in the career of Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, and Detroit Lions Running back Barry Sanders. The referee was Dick Hantak.

Carlton Bailey

Carlton Wilson Bailey (born December 15, 1964) is a former professional American football player who played linebacker in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and Carolina Panthers. He played college football at the University of North Carolina and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1988 NFL Draft.

Perhaps his most memorable play came in the third quarter of the AFC Championship Game on January 12, 1992 between the Bills and Denver Broncos. He intercepted a John Elway pass that had been deflected by teammate Jeff Wright and returned it 11 yards for the game's first touchdown. The Bills went on to win, 10-7, to reach Super Bowl XXVI. Bailey played in the first three of four straight Super Bowl appearances by the Bills.

Chris Hinton

Christopher Jerrod Hinton (born July 31, 1961) is a former American football tackle and guard who played in the National Football League for 13 seasons, primarily with the Indianapolis Colts franchise. In addition to his seven seasons with the Colts, he played with the Atlanta Falcons for four seasons, and the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons.

Hinton was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft and was traded to the Colts as part of a deal for the Broncos to receive Colts' pick John Elway. Although Hinton noted that his career was often overshadowed by his role in Elway's trade, he had successful tenure in the NFL, being was named to seven Pro Bowls and recognized as a three-time All-Pro, along with becoming the first offensive lineman to appear in the Pro Bowl as a rookie. After retiring, Hinton was inducted into the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor and was the second player inducted following the Colts' relocation from Baltimore to Indianapolis.

Colorado Crush

The Colorado Crush were an arena football team based in Denver, Colorado. They began play as a 2003 Arena Football League as an expansion team. The Crush played in the Central Division of the American Conference until the Arena Football League suspended operations in 2009. They were last coached by Mike Dailey and owned by a coalition of Denver sports figures led by John Elway.

Negotiations with a Denver ownership group (known not to be the Elway group) are underway for a future AFL expansion franchise in Denver, but it is unclear whether or not it will use the Crush branding or that of the Denver Dynamite, an earlier AFL team. Like the Dallas Desperados, the Crush's branding is partially based on NFL teams (the Denver Broncos and St. Louis Rams, though to a much lesser degree), which could give Pat Bowlen or Stan Kroenke a potential veto over any usage of the Colorado Crush branding. On July 15, 2015, the Crush name was acquired by the Indoor Football League franchise formerly known as the Colorado Ice as the trademark for the name expired in 2014 according to their ownership.

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos compete as a member club of the National Football League (NFL)'s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. They began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust and currently play home games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High (formerly known as Invesco Field at Mile High from 2001–2010 and Sports Authority Field at Mile High from 2011–2017). Prior to that, they played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000.

The Broncos were barely competitive during their 10-year run in the AFL and their first seven years in the NFL. They did not complete a winning season until 1973. In 1977, four years later, they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and advanced to Super Bowl XII. Since 1975, the Broncos have become one of the NFL's most successful teams, having suffered only seven losing seasons. They have won eight AFC Championships (1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013, 2015), and three Super Bowl championships (1997 (XXXII), 1998 (XXXIII), 2015 (50)), and share the NFL record for most Super Bowl losses (5 — tied with the New England Patriots). They have nine players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Willie Brown, Tony Dorsett, Terrell Davis, Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey.

History of the Denver Broncos

The history of the Denver Broncos American football club began when the team was chartered a member of the American Football League in 1960. The Broncos have played in the city of Denver, Colorado throughout their entire history. The Broncos did not win any titles as members of the AFL. Since the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the Broncos have won 15 division titles, and played in eight Super Bowls, following the 1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013, and 2015 seasons. They won Super Bowl XXXII, Super Bowl XXXIII and Super Bowl 50. Their most famous player is former quarterback John Elway, starting quarterback in five Super Bowls and holder of many NFL records. The Broncos currently play in the National Football League's AFC West division. Their current leadership includes owner Pat Bowlen, CEO Joe Ellis, VP John Elway, and head coach Vance Joseph.

For much of their first 3 decades, excluding teams in Texas, they were the only major pro football team between Kansas City and California (and the only team in the Interior West). This distinction ended in 1988, when the Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Phoenix. The Broncos remain the only current AFC West (formerly AFL West) team to never relocate or change its name.

John Elway Stadium

The John Elway Stadium is a 4,000-seat sports stadium on the campus of Granada Hills Charter High School in Granada Hills, California, a district of the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley.

The stadium is named after the legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, who attended his final two years of high school there.It is the main stadium for the Granada Hills Charter High School football and athletics teams and the Los Angeles Rampage women's soccer team. It is also the former home ground of the San Fernando Valley Quakes USL Premier Development League soccer team.

List of Denver Broncos starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the team.

List of Super Bowl starting quarterbacks

This is a list of quarterbacks with Super Bowl starts.

Mike Dailey

Mike Dailey is an American football coach. He is the head football coach at McDaniel College, a position he has held since the 2016 season. Dailey was a head coach in the Arena Football League for the Albany Firebirds and the Colorado Crush. During his time in the Arena Football League, he won two ArenaBowls and was named AFL Coach of the Year in 1999. He is fifth all time in wins with a career record of 115–84, including an 11–8 mark in the postseason. Under his leadership, the Firebirds won ArenaBowl XIII in 1999, defeating the Orlando Predators led by Jay Gruden, now head coach of the Washington Redskins. In 2005 the Crush, then owned by John Elway, won the ArenaBowl XIX. Dailey's 1999 Albany Firebirds team was voted the greatest team in AFL history, while his 2005 Colorado Crush was voted fifth. He was inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

NFL competition committee

The National Football League Competition Committee was created in 1968 following the announcement of the AFL-NFL merger. It replaced the NFL Rules Committee, which was formed in 1932 when the NFL adopted its own rulebook. Prior to 1932 the NFL used the college rulebook.

Members of the Competition Committee are chosen by the NFL commissioner. The members are:

Rich McKay (chairman) – president, Atlanta Falcons

John Mara – owner, New York Giants

Stephen Jones – owner, Dallas Cowboys

Mark Murphy – president, Green Bay Packers

Ozzie Newsome – general manager, Baltimore Ravens

Mike Tomlin – head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

John Elway – general manager, Denver Broncos

Sean Payton – head coach, New Orleans Saints

Stanford Cardinal football statistical leaders

The Stanford Cardinal football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Stanford Cardinal football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, all-purpose yardage, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Cardinal represent Stanford University in the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference.

Although Stanford began competing in intercollegiate football in 1891, the school's official record book generally does not lists players from before the 1940s, as records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since the 1940s, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. Stanford has played in a bowl game nine times since this decision, allowing players in these years (2009 through 2017) an extra game to accumulate statistics. Similarly, the Cardinal have appeared in the Pac-12 Championship Game four times since it began in 2011.

The top nine seasons in Stanford history in both total offensive yards and points scored have all come since 1999.These lists are updated through Stanford's game against Oregon on September 22, 2018.

The Drive

The Drive was an offensive series in the fourth quarter of the 1986 AFC Championship Game played on January 11, 1987, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium between the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns. Broncos quarterback John Elway, in a span of 5 minutes and 2 seconds, led his team 98 yards in 15 plays to tie the game with 37 seconds left in regulation. Denver won the game in overtime making a 38-yard field goal, the Broncos pulled off a 23–20 win over the Cleveland Browns.

The 98-yard drive ranks as pro football's prototypical clutch performance. Elway and his team spanned almost all of the 100-yard football field. According to an article by Sports Illustrated columnist and Colorado resident Rick Reilly, when Elway started the drive, Broncos offensive guard Keith Bishop said of the Browns, "We got 'em right where we want 'em!" Cleveland could not force a fourth down against Denver.

John Elway—awards, championships, and honors

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