Sometimes there are families that come along in particular sports that have such an impact that their names become synonymous with the sport itself. The Bonds and the Boones in baseball, the Hulls in hockey and in football you have the Mannings and the Elways.
The man who will grab most of the headlines in the family is John Elway, a highly talented quarterback who won back-to-back Super Bowls and won many individual honors. This all started however as a result of his father, Jack Elway, and the incredible work that he put in at college level as head coach, and of course as an inspirational father to John. Let’s take a look at the careers of these two kings of football.
Jack Elway started out life in Hoquiam, Washington, a lover of football from an early age he began playing as quarterback for his local high school team. Once Elway got to Washing State College, he continued to play alongside his studies before suffering a knee injury from which he could not recover. Jack Elway pursued his education and refused to give up on the sport he loved. Once he graduated he began coaching at high school level before joining up with his former coach at Gray’s Harbor College.
For the next 12 years, Elway would work as assistant head coach in a number of college teams before finally getting his break as head coach with Cal State Northridge in Division II before finding great success with Division I team San Jose State and then spending 4 successful years with Stanford University where his son played quarterback. After a brief stint with new outfit Frankfurt in the World League, Elway finished his career using his extensive knowledge of the game to help the Denver Broncos scouting network before retiring in 1999.
From the moment John Elway began playing as quarterback for Stanford, his name was on everyone’s lips as a future star. In 1983, Elway was picked as the first section in the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos, the franchise where he would go on to spend the whole of his illustrious 16 year career.
With the Broncos, Elway quickly got to work and throughout his career he not only won two Super Bowl rings but helped his team to secure 9 Pro Bowls and won the NFL MVP award in 1987 and the Super Bowl MVP in 1997. Elway, at the time of retirement in 1999 had recorded the single most amount of victories for a starting quarterback and his status as one of the most admired quarterbacks in history was cemented in 2004 when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first year that he was eligible to be inducted.
Following his retirement, Elway went on to become the GM for the Denver Broncos and oversaw them winning the Super Bowl once again in 2015.