Frank Tripucka Denver Broncos First Quarterback Dies at 85
Frank Tripucka, the first Denver Broncos Quarterback, died today (Sept. 12) at the age of 85.
Frank Tripucka was a former standout at Notre Dame, he was brought in as a coach before the 1960 season, but it became obvious he was Denver’s best option at QB.
Tripucka threw for 3,038 yards and 24 touchdowns that season. He also tossed the first touchdown pass in American Football League history.
“He is proudly remembered as one of professional football’s first great drop-back quarterbacks,” the Broncos said in a statement. “Frank will always hold a very special place in Broncos history for what he meant to this organization and community.”
Tripucka was inducted into the team’s Ring of Fame in 1986 and is one of three men to have their number retired by the Broncos.
Before the start of last season Tripucka had asked that number 18 be unretired so Peyton Manning could wear it. Tripucka said, “If Peyton wants the number, they should give it to him. They definitely should.”