Denver Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway, who built a Super Bowl 50 champion with some bold personnel moves and who has a refreshingly candid and open media policy, has been selected as the 2016 Jack Horrigan Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Elway, the 43rd Horrigan Award winner, is the third member of the Broncos organization to receive the honor from the PFWA, joining Floyd Little (1976) and Bob Peck (1978).
Other 2016 nominees for the Horrigan Award were Dallas Cowboys Owner/President/General Manager Jerry Jones, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, NFL VP of Communications Brian McCarthy and Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.
The Horrigan Award is given to the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job. The award is named for Horrigan, who was a sportswriter for UPI and the Buffalo Evening News, public relations director for the American Football League (1963-66) and vice president of public relations for the Buffalo Bills (1966-73).
Elway is lauded by those who cover the Broncos for his availability and for how informative and helpful he is to beat writers and national writers alike.
“Since John Elway returned to the Broncos in 2011, he had been in the uncommon position as a Hall of Fame player who was now a team’s chief football decision-maker,” said PFWA President Jeff Legwold, who covers the Broncos for ESPN.com. “And after the 2015 season, he is the only person to have started at quarterback for a Super Bowl winner and then returned as a team’s top football executive to win another. Elway was cited by the PFWA membership for his willingness to offer perspective on what’s happening in the league as well as candid, honest assessments of events surrounding the Broncos in both good and difficult times.”
ABOUT THE PFWA: The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) is the official voice of pro football writers, promoting and fighting for access to NFL personnel to best serve the public. The PFWA is made up of accredited writers who cover the NFL and the 32 teams on a daily basis. Jeff Legwold, who covers the Denver Broncos for ESPN.com, is the organization’s president for 2015-17, while Bleacher Report national columnist Dan Pompei is the PFWA’s first vice-president and ESPN’s Jim Trotter is the organization’s second vice-president. Follow the PFWA at ProFootballWriters.org and on Twitter at @PFWAwriters.
JACK HORRIGAN AWARD WINNERS (To the league or club official for his or her qualities and professional style in helping the pro football writers do their job): 1974 – John Breen (Houston Oilers); 1975 – O.J. Simpson (Buffalo Bills); 1976 – Floyd Little (Denver Broncos); 1977 – Jerry Wynn (San Diego Chargers); 1978 – Bob Peck (Denver Broncos); 1979 – John Madden (Oakland Raiders); 1980 – Bum Phillips (Houston Oilers); 1981 – Bob Sprenger (Kansas City Chiefs); 1982 – Joe Gordon (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1983 – Archie Manning (New Orleans Saints); 1984 – Art Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers); 1985 – Joe Browne (NFL); 1986 – Dick Steinberg (New England Patriots); 1987 – Charlie Dayton (Atlanta Falcons); 1988 – Art Modell (Cleveland Browns); 1989 – Tom Landry (Dallas Cowboys); 1990 – George Young (New York Giants); 1991 – Jim Finks (New Orleans Saints); 1992 – John Robinson (Los Angeles Rams); 1993 – Warren Moon (Houston Oilers); 1994 – Don Shula (Miami Dolphins); 1995 – Leslie Hammond (NFL); 1996 – Ron Wolf (Green Bay Packers); 1997 – Don Smith (Pro Football Hall of Fame); 1998 – Tony Dungy (Tampa Bay Buccaneers); 1999 – Greg Aiello (NFL); 2000 – Ernie Accorsi (New York Giants); 2001 – Jeff Fisher (Tennessee Titans); 2002 – Charley Casserly (Houston Texans); 2003 – Herman Edwards (New York Jets); 2004 – Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore Ravens); 2005 – Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons); 2006 – Floyd Reese (Tennessee Titans); 2007 – Steve Alic (NFL); 2008 – Mike Holmgren (Seattle Seahawks); 2009 – Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers); 2010 – Gil Brandt (NFL.com); 2011 – Rex Ryan (New York Jets); 2012 – Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons); 2013 – Mike Signora (NFL); 2014 – Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks); 2015 – Bruce Arians (Arizona Cardinals); 2016 – John Elway (Denver Broncos).