Before 1977, the Denver Broncos were about as pitiful as an NFL franchise could get. Aside from players like Floyd Little and Lionel Taylor, there just wasn't much to get excited about in an era dominated by the Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers.
Then, out of nowhere, the Broncos advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 1977, and behind the strength of the Orange Crush defense, they defeated two AFC powerhouses, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders, on their way to Super Bowl XII.
Despite losing the game to the Dallas Cowboys, the '77 Broncos marked the beginning of Denver's four decades of contention since that year.
Finally, the Broncos are honoring the leader of that seminal team, Head Coach Red Miller, with a spot in the Ring of Fame. He joins Dan Reeves as the only two coaches in the Broncos Ring of Fame.
After being hired in 1977, Miller posted a 40-22 record in the regular season and a 2-3 record in the playoffs. His 40 regular season wins are best in franchise history, behind Mike Shanahan, Dan Reeves, and John Fox.
Upon learning the news, Miller, 89, reflected on what the honor really means.
“Hearing that great news from [Broncos President & CEO] 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. All of our players and coaches carried us to a lot of success and brought so much excitement to the fans during those years."
Miller will be inducted in a halftime ceremony during a 2017 game to be decided later.