An overview of the GMs who have led the team during its long history.
The Denver Broncos have had 13 men who have held the title of general manager, many of whom were also listed as something else during their time as GM. I will fully admit that I do not know much of the history of these GMs. I am reporting the information that I have found on pro-football-reference.com.
Some of the folks with whom I have interacted on Twitter have noted that a few of these GMs had little to no control over player decisions. Without digging too deeply into the history, I can’t say one way or the other, but I welcome the input of those who have knowledge of the roles that each played or didn’t play in the history of the franchise.
Obviously, those who were both head coach and GM are much easier to document. I have learned from those who lived through the mostly painful period of Broncos history led by Lou Saban and John Ralston and I welcome your input in the comments.
So here is the short list with data.
|Executive||Years||Title||W||L||T||WIN%||Playoff W||Playoff L|
|Dean Griffing||1960-1961||General Manager||7||20||1||0.2593||0||0|
|Jack Faulkner||1962-1964||General Manager||11||29||1||0.2750||0||0|
|Fred Gehrke||1965-1966, 1977-1980||VP/General Manager||48||42||0||0.5333||2||3|
|Lou Saban||1967-1971||Head Coach/General Manager||22||45||3||0.3284||0||0|
|John Ralston||1972-1976||Head Coach/General Manager||34||33||3||0.5075||0||0|
|Grady Alderman||1981-1982||General Manager||12||13||0||0.4800||0||0|
|Hein Poulus||1983||General Manager||9||7||0||0.5625||0||1|
|John Beake||1984-1998||General Manager||152||86||1||0.6387||14||7|
|Neal Dahlen||1999-2001||General Manager||25||23||0||0.5208||0||1|
|Ted Sundquist||2002-2007||General Manager||58||38||0||0.6042||1||3|
|Jim Goodman||2008||VP of Football Operations/Player Personnel||8||8||0||0.5000||0||0|
|Brian Xanders||2009-2011||General Manager||20||28||0||0.4167||1||1|
|John Elway||2012-2020||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||90||70||0||0.5625||6||4|
It was pointed out by Andrew Mason on Twitter that the Broncos without John Elway as a player or executive have three playoff wins; with him the franchise has 21.
In John Elway’s 26 seasons with the Broncos as player & executive, the Broncos won 20 playoff games.
In the other 35 seasons, the Broncos won three playoff games.
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 4, 2021
I vaguely remember the history behind the brief stint of Jim Goodman as our GM. Goodman and his son Jeff were both ousted when Brian Xanders was elevated to the GM position. Goodman had been with franchise since 1998 starting as a scout and moving his way up to interim GM.
I don’t know the history behind the other one-year GM, Hein Poulus. I am very curious though. Google was not very helpful in digging up that tidbit of history. Grady Alderman had been the GM for the first two seasons under Dan Reeves. I’m not sure whether he left on his own or was fired. Remember that Pat Bowlen did not buy the team until after the 1983 season. The principal owner prior to that was Edgar Kaiser who had taken over from Gerald Phipps three years prior.
Having been born a few years prior, I was too young to be paying any attention to this, so again, any of you who want to share stories from this turbulent time in the history of the Broncos, please do so in the comments.
|Person||Year||Title||W||L||T||WIN%||Playoff W||Playoff L||Playoff Result|
|Dean Griffing||1960||General Manager||4||9||1||0.307692308||0||0|
|Dean Griffing||1961||General Manager||3||11||0||0.214285714||0||0|
|Jack Faulkner||1962||General Manager||7||7||0||0.5||0||0|
|Jack Faulkner||1963||General Manager||2||11||1||0.153846154||0||0|
|Jack Faulkner||1964||General Manager||2||11||1||0.153846154||0||0|
|Fred Gehrke||1965||General Manager||4||10||0||0.286||0||0|
|Fred Gehrke||1966||General Manager||4||10||0||0.286||0||0|
|Lou Saban||1967||Head Coach/General Manager||3||11||0||0.214||0||0|
|Lou Saban||1968||Head Coach/General Manager||5||9||0||0.357||0||0|
|Lou Saban||1969||Head Coach/General Manager||5||8||1||0.385||0||0|
|Lou Saban||1970||Head Coach/General Manager||5||8||1||0.385||0||0|
|Lou Saban||1971||Head Coach/General Manager||4||9||1||0.308||0||0|
|John Ralston||1972||Head Coach/General Manager||5||9||0||0.357||0||0|
|John Ralston||1973||Head Coach/General Manager||7||5||2||0.571||0||0|
|John Ralston||1974||Head Coach/General Manager||7||6||1||0.536||0||0|
|John Ralston||1975||Head Coach/General Manager||6||8||0||0.429||0||0|
|John Ralston||1976||Head Coach/General Manager||9||5||0||0.643||0||0|
|Fred Gehrke||1977||VP/General Manager||12||2||0||0.857||2||1||Lost SB|
|Fred Gehrke||1978||VP/General Manager||10||6||0||0.625||0||1||Lost Div|
|Fred Gehrke||1979||VP/General Manager||10||6||0||0.625||0||1||Lost WC|
|Fred Gehrke||1980||VP/General Manager||8||8||0||0.500||0||0|
|Grady Alderman||1981||General Manager||10||6||0||0.625||0||0|
|Grady Alderman||1982||General Manager||2||7||0||0.222||0||0|
|Hein Poulus||1983||General Manager||9||7||0||0.563||0||1||Lost WC|
|John Beake||1984||General Manager||13||3||0||0.813||0||1||Lost Div|
|John Beake||1985||General Manager||11||5||0||0.688||0||0|
|John Beake||1986||General Manager||11||5||0||0.688||2||1||Lost SB|
|John Beake||1987||General Manager||10||4||1||0.700||2||1||Lost SB|
|John Beake||1988||General Manager||8||8||0||0.500||0||0|
|John Beake||1989||General Manager||11||5||0||0.688||2||1||Lost SB|
|John Beake||1990||General Manager||5||11||0||0.313||0||0|
|John Beake||1991||General Manager||12||4||0||0.750||1||1||Lost Conf|
|John Beake||1992||General Manager||8||8||0||0.500||0||0|
|John Beake||1993||General Manager||9||7||0||0.563||0||1||Lost WC|
|John Beake||1994||General Manager||7||9||0||0.438||0||0|
|John Beake||1995||General Manager||8||8||0||0.500||0||0|
|John Beake||1996||General Manager||13||3||0||0.813||0||1||Lost Div|
|John Beake||1997||General Manager||12||4||0||0.750||4||0||Won SB|
|John Beake||1998||General Manager||14||2||0||0.875||3||0||Won SB|
|Neal Dahlen||1999||General Manager||6||10||0||0.375||0||0|
|Neal Dahlen||2000||General Manager||11||5||0||0.688||0||1||Lost WC|
|Neal Dahlen||2001||General Manager||8||8||0||0.500||0||0|
|Ted Sundquist||2002||General Manager||9||7||0||0.563||0||0|
|Ted Sundquist||2003||General Manager||10||6||0||0.625||0||1||Lost WC|
|Ted Sundquist||2004||General Manager||10||6||0||0.625||0||1||Lost WC|
|Ted Sundquist||2005||General Manager||13||3||0||0.813||1||1||Lost Conf|
|Ted Sundquist||2006||General Manager||9||7||0||0.563||0||0|
|Ted Sundquist||2007||General Manager||7||9||0||0.438||0||0|
|Jim Goodman||2008||VP of Football Operations/Player Personnel||8||8||0||0.500||0||0|
|Brian Xanders||2009||General Manager||8||8||0||0.500||0||0|
|Brian Xanders||2010||General Manager||4||12||0||0.250||0||0|
|Brian Xanders||2011||General Manager||8||8||0||0.500||1||1||Lost Div|
|John Elway||2012||Executive VP of Football Operations/de facto General Manager||13||3||0||0.813||0||1||Lost Div|
|John Elway||2013||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||13||3||0||0.813||2||1||Lost SB|
|John Elway||2014||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||12||4||0||0.750||0||1||Lost Div|
|John Elway||2015||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||12||4||0||0.750||3||0||Won SB|
|John Elway||2016||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||9||7||0||0.563||0||0|
|John Elway||2017||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||5||11||0||0.313||0||0|
|John Elway||2018||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||6||10||0||0.375||0||0|
|John Elway||2019||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||7||9||0||0.438||0||0|
|John Elway||2020||Executive VP of Football Operations/General Manager||5||11||0||0.313||0||0|