The Denver Broncos did not have much to brag about, that was, until Red Miller came along. On Thursday, the team announced that they would be honoring their former coach, making him the 2017 inductee into the team’s Ring of Fame.

“The Broncos have a proud championship history, and the person who helped start that winning tradition was Red Miller,” Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis said. “So many of our franchise’s ‘firsts’ happened with Red as our head coach, most notably our first Super Bowl appearance back in 1977. It’s the 40th anniversary of that Super Bowl XII team coached by Red, and that makes his Ring of Fame selection this year even more special.”

Miller coached the Broncos from 1977-80. He led the team to a 40-22 record, never posting a losing record. The former coach, who will turn 90 in October, was very excited to hear the news.

“Hearing that great news from Joe [Ellis] and the rest of the committee brought back so many memories from those special seasons with the Broncos,” Miller said. “Looking back, it was a ragtag operation with where we were at the time. We had to build it up and get it going.”

Miller was elected unanimously by the six-member committee. John Beake, who is a former Broncos general manager and serves on the committee, was given his first job with the team by Miller. In a conference call with the media, he detailed the impact Miller had on the franchise.

“Red, as we were discussing it, became unanimous that this is who we would like to place in the Ring of Fame, based on the fact that his coaching career, coming in ’77 and his four years were really sterling years that opened the door and pathway for the Denver Broncos to go on to where we are today,” said Beake.

Miller’s legacy was not limited to the Broncos. In fact, he had a profound impact on one of Mile High Sports’ own. It was he, who gave Irv Brown’s son Greg Brown, his first job in pro football.

Following his stint with the Broncos, Miller would coach the USFL’s Denver Gold. He would bring Greg Brown aboard, to coach the secondary.

A member of the local sports media at the time, Irv asked Miller to bring on Greg as a favor. Miller told him he would “if you and Joe [Williams] keep your mouth shut. That was in 1983. Greg Brown has since had several stints on staffs in both the NFL and NCAA. Currently, he coaches the secondary for Auburn.

“He’s coached for damn near 40 years and it’s all because of Red Miller,” Irv Brown, who had lunch with Miller recently. “He’s terrific. I can’t say enough about him.”


Image credit: Denver Broncos- Broncos photo archive.