Welcome in to another edition of ‘Where are they now?’ in which we look back at some past Denver Broncos who left a lasting impact on the franchise but perhaps are not as widely remembered by fans as Ring-of-Honor type legends
In this edition, we’ll check in on former running back/return specialist Vaughn Hebron.
Undrafted in 1993 following a successful college career at Virginia Tech, running back Vaughn Hebron was signed as a free agent prior to the 1993 NFL season by the Philadelphia Eagles. He’d spend two seasons up in Philly, appearing in each game of the 1993 and 1994 seasons before signing with the Denver Broncos the following year.
For the offense, Hebron primarily filled the role of spelling star running back Terrell Davis and was more of a situational back, but his real asset was in the kickoff return game. In three seasons with the Broncos, he returned 134 kicks for 3,324 yards, both of which are still franchise records today.
He played a pivotal role for the team’s path to Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII, putting the offense in ideal position and allowing John Elway and crew to do what they did best. Following the Super Bowl run in 1998, he decided to hang up his cleats.
What has Vaughn Hebron been up to?
Johnson, following his retirement, initially attempted to keep involved in football, accepting the head coaching position for the Trenton Lightning of the ill-fated Indoor Professional Football League in 2001. He would lead the team to a 4-2 record (losing the first two games and winning the final four) before the team was forced to fold.
Not long after, he returned to Philadelphia where he worked as an analyst for Eagles games through 2012. He also spent a good portion of his time raising his five children, Vaughn Jr., Saloni, Savion, Savaughn, and Sanaa.
The younger Vaughn pursued an entertainment career as well, but rather than the gridiron, he went after the silver screen. He is currently a steadily working actor, most notably known for being a regular on the shows The Game, a fictional pro football drama currently airing on Paramount Plus, and Tyler Perry’s The Oval, a political drama that ran on BET until 2022. He also appeared in the Oscar-winning King Richard, starring Will Smith.
While his son chose the Hollywood path, his other four kids stuck to athletics, all running in college. Youngest daughter Sanaa was a three-time state champion in Pennsylvania and is on scholarship at the University of Miami. Hebron became dedicated to helping his children through their athletics, going above and beyond to help them train. He would do things for Sanaa such as arrive 20 minutes early to her meets to place hurdles up to help get her warmed up.
“We became a track family,” Vaughn said back in 2022 during an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It became a big family affair. Our vacations were when we went down to AAU tournaments, nationals, all that.”
When he’s not helping his family train, as of 2011 he made a living helping others do the same, serving as President and CEO of Movement Specialists in Newtown, Pennsylvania. The business offered classes/treatments on indoor cycling, yoga, weight management programs, physical therapy, chiropractic care, pilates, and massage.
Hebron was recently a part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the 1998 Super Bowl team that took place earlier this month and spoke of his time with the team.
“Look, there are only seven teams that (have won back to back Super Bowls),’’ Hebron said to 9News’ Mike Klis. “So it’s a beautiful thing. I would tell you I get excited to come back and see all the guys. It’s like a class reunion on steroids. Because it’s a reunion with guys you went to battle with. We were part of something that’s only been done, in this great game, seven times. When you take that in perspective, it’s amazing.’’
He would later tell a story about that ‘98 team, who started the season 13-0, that could be useful to echo within the locker room of the current Denver Broncos squad.
“The funny thing – and I still tell this story – if I would have told you that we had an all-players meeting at 13-2 you’d be like, that’s crazy,” he said. “But the record is always about when the record occurred. If we would have lost the first two games and won 13 straight, we don’t have that meeting. But we won 13 straight and then lost two in a row. And we had an all players meeting and John was like, the playoffs start now. And the rest is history.”