Contributor / Contributor
Class of 2019
Super Bowl Appearances
"I want us to be number 1 in everything."
Pat Bowlen's tenure of ownership is undoubtedly one of the most successful periods for any team in the league. Bowlen also served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Broncos from the time he purchased the club in 1984 until July 2014.
Bowlen has guided the Broncos to great success as the club has posted second-highest regular-season winning percentage of any NFL team (.603 / 327-215-1) – and the third-highest winning percentage in American professional sports. The Broncos have achieved 21 winning seasons, 13 division titles, nine conference championship berths and seven Super Bowl appearances during the Bowlen era.
The Broncos have sold out every game since Week 1 of 1970 and under Bowlen’s leadership, the team has more than 400 consecutive sellouts.
Bowlen is the only owner in NFL history to achieve 300 overall victories during his first 30 seasons. Under his leadership, the Broncos had an incredible run of success. The franchise has won three Super Bowls – XXXII, XXXIII and 50. The Broncos also claimed seven AFC championships under Bowlen (1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013 and 2015).
Bowlen was elected to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2015 and is a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. His outstanding contributions to the Broncos as well as the National Football League has established him as one of the greatest and most influential contributors in league history.
In addition to his role with the Broncos, Bowlen was a key figure in securing the league’s labor and TV contracts. He served as co-chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee from 2001-2011 and formerly chaired the prestigious NFL Broadcasting Committee.
In his role as Chair of the NFL Broadcast Committee, Bowlen was responsible for the negotiations on the NFL’s $18 billion TV contract, the most lucrative single-sport contract in history.
1984 Denver Broncos (AFC Western Division champions)
1986 Denver Broncos (AFC Western Division, AFC champions)
1987 Denver Broncos (AFC Western Division, AFC champions)
1989 Denver Broncos (AFC Western Division, AFC champions)
1991 Denver Broncos (AFC Western Division champions)
1996 Denver Broncos (AFC Western Division champions)
1997 Denver Broncos (AFC, Super Bowl XXXII champions)
1998 Denver Broncos (AFC Western Division, AFC, Super Bowl XXXIII champions)
2005 Denver Broncos (AFC West Division champions)
2011 Denver Broncos (AFC West Division champions)
2012 Denver Broncos (AFC West Division champions)
2013 Denver Broncos (AFC West Division, AFC champions)
2014 Denver Broncos (AFC West Division champions)
2015 Denver Broncos (AFC West Division champions, AFC, Super Bowl 50 champions)
Year-by-Year Team Records
1984 Denver Broncos........ 13-3-0 (1st)
1985 Denver Broncos.......... 11-5-0 (2nd)
1986 Denver Broncos........ 11-5-0 (1st)
1987 Denver Broncos........ 10-4-1 (1st)
1988 Denver Broncos............ 8-8-0 (2nd)
1989 Denver Broncos........ 11-5-0 (1st)
1990 Denver Broncos.......... 5-11-0 (5th)
1991 Denver Broncos........ 12-4-0 (1st)
1992 Denver Broncos............ 8-8-0 (3rd)
1993 Denver Broncos.......... 9-7-0 (3rd)
1994 Denver Broncos............ 7-9-0 (4th)
1995 Denver Broncos............ 8-8-0 (4th)
1996 Denver Broncos........ 13-3-0 (1st)
1997 Denver Broncos........ 12-4-0 (2nd)
1998 Denver Broncos........ 14-2-0 (1st)
1999 Denver Broncos.......... 6-10-0 (5th)
2000 Denver Broncos........ 11-5-0 (2nd)
2001 Denver Broncos............ 8-8-0 (3rd)
2002 Denver Broncos............ 9-7-0 (2nd)
2003 Denver Broncos........ 10-6-0 (2nd)
2004 Denver Broncos........ 10-6-0 (2nd)
2005 Denver Broncos........ 13-3-0 (1st)
2006 Denver Broncos............ 9-7-0 (3rd)
2007 Denver Broncos............ 7-9-0 (2nd)
2008 Denver Broncos............ 8-8-0 (2nd)
2009 Denver Broncos............ 8-8-0 (2nd)
2010 Denver Broncos.......... 4-12-0 (4th)
2011 Denver Broncos.......... 8-8-0 (1st)
2012 Denver Broncos........ 13-3-0 (1st)
2013 Denver Broncos........ 13-3-0 (1st)
2014 Denver Broncos........ 12-4-0 (1st)
2015 Denver Broncos........ 12-4-0 (1st)
2016 Denver Broncos............ 9-7-0 (3rd)
2017 Denver Broncos.......... 5-11-0 (4th)
2018 Denver Broncos 6-10-0 (3rd)
(Division Finish in Parentheses)
Qualified for Postseason in Bold
Full Name: Patrick Dennis Bowlen
Birthdate: Feb. 18, 1944
Birthplace: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
High School: Campion Jesuit Catholic High School
Pat Bowlen Enshrinement Speech 2008
Presenter: Steve Antonopoulos
We’re ready baby, we’re ready. It’s gonna be a hell of a ball game today.
In 1984, a 40-year-old businessman named Pat Bowlen purchased the Denver Broncos. An organization he would build into one of the premiere franchises in football.
Mr. Bowlen was about football, football first, business second. He provided the stability our organization needed at that time.
Alright Sammy baby, alright.
I didn’t understand the magnitude of what being an NFL owner Meant. And then I realized it when a kid in my class told me, that my dad was his hero and he wanted to grow up and be like him one day.
In the 1980s, John Elway led Bowlen’s Broncos to three Super Bowls in a four-year span.
Come on Johnny.
Only to come up agonizingly short each time.
Beth Bowlen Wallace:
The third Super Bowl was incredibly devastating for my dad,
The Denver Broncos have lost their fourth Super Bowl.
Beth Bowlen Wallace:
But it’s probably the most profound lesson I’ve learned from my dad through my lifetime. Is that the losses and the challenges and the failures in life made him into the owner that he is.
But those heart brakes set the stage for Super Bowl XXXII, one of the most dramatic break throughs in NFL history.
I think the most memorable game for me would be the first super bowl win.
I remember sitting in the stands, I was so short I couldn’t see the field. I knocked my brother and said put me on your shoulders.
I’ll never forget the play when John literally leaped into the end zone and got helicoptered as he was diving for the touchdown.
Come on Boys
Super Bowl Announcer:
In 38 years without a championship in football has come down to one play.
No one expected us to win that game.
Super Bowl Announcer:
Blitz is on, Favre hit as he throws, pass is going to be incomplete. Denver holds, Denver is going to win it. Denver is going to win it. Are you kidding me, they have won Super Bowl XXXII.
But I remember getting to the field and my dad is hosting the Lombardi trophy.
This one is for John.
Beth Bowlen Wallace:
And I just remember running around the field looking for him. And when I found him, and he saw me we both just had tears in our eyes and hugged. It’s an experience of a lifetime.
He came to the athletic training room and one of the things that he said is that Greek we gotta keep doing this, we gotta keep this up.
Denver followed that championship by rolling to a repeat title in Elway’s farewell campaign.
That was incredible for him, to see how happy he was, and how happy my mom was, is something I will never forget.
And Denver will become World Champions once again.
And I do remember the parade in Denver, and it was amazing.
Bowlen garnered respect across the franchise, the community and the league. And his contribution to the development of Sunday Night Football changed the landscape of both football and television. But in 2014 he would be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease relinquishing control of day to day team operations.
It will never be the same, it’s gonna be very hard to not see him walk through those front doors every day.
He was so strong for me when he first got Alzheimer’s. My father in his entire life has showed so much courage. Courage to fight a disease that is never ending.
But his Alzheimer’s fight inspired his team on the way to Super Bowl 50.
In my eyes we had to win another one while dad could remember it.
This one’s for Pat.
I can remember coming into the locker room just crying with a lot of the staff that I’ve grown up with.
To hand the Lombardi trophy to my dad was the most amazing experience because it was the first thing we were giving him excitement about in a while.
In Bowlen’s 35 years as owner, the Broncos won a league best 71 percent of their home games, seven AFC titles and three Super Bowls.
I was asking him about the Pro Football Hall of Fame, what does mean dad, why is it such a big deal? And he said, “Brittany the Hall of Fame is only where legends go.” Means you were the greatest of all-time and he was a legend.
He has definitely set the bar for NFL owners.
He passed away at the age of 75, leaving behind a much-admired championship culture and a legacy that will endure for generations.
My dad always wanted to be a winner and he definitely accomplished that.
We all as a family want to keep the momentum and makes sure that we are doing exactly what he would’ve wanted.
Dad I just wanted to say I am extremely proud of you. It’s finally your time.
I am very proud to be apart of this for your dad. This one is for you. You did it.
Mr. B this one’s for you. I am honored and privileged to present my friend, Pat Bowlen for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.