July 23, 2014
Denver Broncos' Owner Pat Bowlen Resigns Due To Alzheimers, Passes Baton To Joe Ellis

He is a legend in Denver, Colorado and, up until just a few days ago, owned one of the most consistently competitive sports franchises in NFL history. Alas, the Denver Post now reports that Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos, has resigned due to complications related to developing Alzheimer's disease.

USA Today released the following statement given by Pat's wife Anabel:

"As many in the Denver community and around the National Football League have speculated, my husband, Pat, has very bravely and quietly battled Alzheimer's disease for the last few years. He has elected to keep his condition private because he has strongly believed, and often said, 'It's not about me.'"
Pat Bowlen was instrumental in helping his team make six Super Bowl appearances, of which Denver took home two championships. Throughout his 30 years of owner of the Denver Broncos, Pat has seen countless roster changes and worked with two of the most iconic quarterbacks to ever play the sport: John Elway and Peyton Manning.

Denver Broncos' Owner Pat Bowlen Resigns Due To Alzheimers, Passes Baton To Joe Ellis

Bowlen, who is 70, has placed the control of the Denver Broncos in the hands of Joe Ellis, the team president, until another legitimate replacement has been secured. Joe Ellis has been with the Broncos franchise since 1983 and began as the director of marketing. He worked his way up to become the president of the team, a title he took on in 2011.

The ultimate control of the team rests in the Pat Bowlen Trust, which is made up of non-family members. It is Bowlen's wish that ownership of the team pass to one of his seven children when any one of them is ready to assume ownership. At this time, the team is not for sale. In a statement released by the Broncos camp, these plans are solidified:

"Plans for this trust were arranged by Mr. Bowlen beginning more than a decade ago as part of his succession plan to keep the Broncos in the Bowlen family."
Since Bowlen has owned the team, the Broncos have racked up 300 wins as a NFL team and hosted countless professional athletes who went on to build illustrious careers in the NFL. The team won back-to-back Super Bowls under quarterback John Elway, who now resides as the general manager and executive vice president of operations for the Broncos.

Joe Ellis at a Denver Broncos press conference.

Upon learning of Bowlen's resignation, Joe Ellis released the following statement:

"It's a really, really sad day. It's sad for his family, his wife and his seven children. It's sad for everyone in the organization. And it's sad for all the Bronco fans who know what Pat Bowlen meant to them as an owner. It's a day nobody wanted to see happen."
Despite the change in regime, the Broncos will report, as scheduled, to training camp today.

What will this change mean for the Broncos? Will the changes bring about positive growth for the Broncos? Inquisitr wants to know your thoughts. Sound off in the comment section below.

[Photo credit: Getty Images/TD Daily/USA Today]