On This Day in Broncos History: December 16

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

They're killin' me, Whitey . . .

December 16, 1966 - On this day, Lou Saban was signed as the fourth head coach of the Denver Broncos (or fifth, if you count Ray Malavasi's short stint as an interim head coach). Saban had started as a coach at the professional level by accepting a call to become the head coach of the newly formed American Football League team, the Buffalo Bills. He led the Bills to consecutive AFL championships in 1964 and 1965. He then took a year away from professional football to coach at the University of Maryland. In 1967, he joined the Broncos. He coached 65 games for Denver from 1967 to 1971., compiling a 20-42-3 record as the Broncos' head coach. He was not able to lead the Broncos to the postseason.

Among his notable accomplishments in Denver included bringing Cookie Gilchrist back to Denver after his predecessors had traded him to the Miami Dolphins. Saban was also responsible for bringing QB Steven Tensi to Denver. Although the Broncos improved marginally under his leadership, Saban chose to resign after the Broncos began the 1971 season with a 2-6-1 record. He is, perhaps, best known for a film clip aired by NFL Films of a game in which Saban was seen moaning to assistant coach Whitey Dovell: "They're killin' me out there, Whitey, they're killin' me!"

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