Gene Mingo, Rick Upchurch, and Dan Reeves elected to Denver Broncos Ring of Fame

Photo courtesy of the Denver Broncos Football Club

There will be three new additions to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame in 2014

Gene Mingo 1960-1964

Was one of the last hybrid players as he was Kicker, Kick-Returner and Halfback.  In fact he was the first African American placekicker in football history.  His career began with the Broncos of the AFL in 1960 when he became the first player to return a punt for a touchdown in league history against the Boston Patriots, in what would become the first victory for the Denver Broncos in the first game ever played in the AFL.  In 1961 he threw two touchdown passes as a halfback which stands as an AFL/NFL record to this day.  Mingo will be announcing the Denver Broncos 2nd round draft pick this year.

Rick Upchurch 1975-1983

Holds the NFL record for most punt return touchdowns in a season (1976) with four.  As a rookie, Upchurch was a utility player rushing for 97 yards, catching passes for 436 yards to go along with 312 punt return yards and 1,014 kick return yards.  He is a member of the Broncos first Super Bowl team and led the NFL in punt return yardage that season (1971-72).  He is a 4 time pro bowler (1976, 78-79, 82) and a 5 time All Pro (1976-79, 1982).  He is one of the few players elected to two different NFL All-Decade teams (70's, 80's).

Dan Reeves 1981-1992

Ushered in a decade of excellence after the Broncos struggled for much of the 60's and 70's.  Reeves coached the Broncos from 1981-92 and compiled a 110-73-1 (.600) record in his 12 seasons while leading the team to a franchise-best five division titles (1984, '86-87, '89, '91) and three Super Bowl appearances (1986-87, '89). He is the first coach to be inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame and just the second non-player to earn that distinction, joining former Owner Gerald H. Phipps (elected in 1985).

Joe Ellis on the newest additions to the Broncos Ring of Fame:

[Owner & CEO] Pat Bowlen and the Broncos are very proud of their tradition and alumni, and we are thrilled with the election of Gene Mingo, Rick Upchurch and Dan Reeves into the Ring of Fame...They played a key role in three important eras of Denver Broncos history and are most deserving of this prestigious honor.

"Our organization looks forward to honoring Gene, Rick and Coach Reeves as we celebrate their distinguished and lasting contributions to the Denver Broncos."

John Elway on Dan Reeves' induction to the Broncos Ring of Fame:

"I congratulate Dan Reeves on being named to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame. Dan won a tremendous amount of football games as head coach of Broncos. We had an opportunity to experience three Super Bowls in a four-year period and enjoyed a lot of success as a team. I have great deal of appreciation for what Dan helped us achieve.

"He's a great football coach and is very deserving of this honor. I'm happy for Dan and his family, and I'm looking forward to his induction into the Ring of Fame."

The induction ceremony will take place on Sunday, Sept. 14, at halftime of the Broncos' game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High (2:25 p.m. MDT kickoff).

DENVER BRONCOS RING OF FAME

Name

Pos.

Yrs. w/Broncos

Year Inducted

Dan Reeves

Coach

1981-92

2014

Rick Upchurch

WR/Ret.

1975-83

2014

Gene Mingo

HB/K

1960-64

2014

Tom Nalen

C

1994-2008

2013

Rod Smith

WR

1994-2007

2012

Shannon Sharpe

TE

1990-99, 2002-03

2009

Terrell Davis

RB

1995-2002

2007

Steve Atwater

S

1989-98

2005

Gary Zimmerman

T

1993-97

2003

Karl Mecklenburg

LB

1983-94

2001

Dennis Smith

S

1981-94

2001

John Elway

QB

1983-98

1999

Louis Wright

CB

1975-86

1993

Tom Jackson

LB

1973-86

1992

Randy Gradishar

LB

1974-83

1989

Craig Morton

QB

1977-82

1988

Haven Moses

WR

1972-81

1988

Jim Turner

K

1971-79

1988

Billy Thompson

S

1969-81

1987

Charley Johnson

QB

1972-75

1986

Paul Smith

DT

1968-78

1986

Frank Tripucka

QB

1960-63

1986

Gerald H. Phipps

Owner

1961-81

1985

Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin

S

1960-66

1984

Rich Jackson

DE

1967-72

1984

Floyd Little

RB

1967-75

1984

Lionel Taylor

WR

1960-66

1984

Oh behalf of Broncos Country, Mile High Report would like to offer congratulations and a Mile High Salute to Mr. Mingo, Mr. Upchurch, and Mr. Reeves, GO BRONCOS!!!

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