After Broncos owner Pat Bowlen passed away on Thursday evening, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the team has a successor lined up to become the team's next controlling owner. The statement did not specify a cause of death. He served as the team's CEO until 2014, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations after announcing he was fighting Alzheimer's, a disease his wife, Annabel, was diagnosed with past year. His contributions to the game of football will be immortalized with his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame as Pat led the Broncos organization and created one of the most sought-after cultures in sports, while becoming one of the staple franchises in the NFL.
There has been an outpouring of support for the longtime and beloved owner, who bought the team in 1984 and led the Broncos to seven Super Bowl appearances and three National Football League championships.
Bowlen was on hand to see his team win its third championship at Super Bowl 50 in February 2016. Bowlen served on 15 different NFL ownership committees, including his work as chairman of both the NFL Broadcasting Committee and NFL Management Council Executive Committee.
Pat Bowlen, shown here in 2011, oversaw a consistent run of success in Denver.
"My family and I are saddened by the loss of Pat Bowlen, and our hearts are with the Bowlen family and the entire Denver Broncos organization during this hard time", Chiefs owner and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. He also served on multiple other committees, including: NFL Films, Compensation, Pro Football Hall of Fame, NFL Network, Finance, and worldwide and Workplace Diversity.
Elway, now the team's president of football operations and general manager, remembered Bowlen Friday morning.
Bowlen also became one of the NFL's most powerful owners during his tenure.
"He was a tremendous mentor to me and a tremendous friend". Whether things were going right or things weren't going right, he would always let you know what we needed to get better. Other than his family, nothing meant more to Pat than making sure the Denver Broncos were successful. Last June, Bowlen's wife Annabel announced she also had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
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