The daughter of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced her desire to take over the leadership role of the team and was informed she hasn’t met the criteria.
The Pat Bowlen Trust issued a statement Thursday saying Beth Bowlen Wallace “is not capable or qualified at this time.”
The team was placed in a trust when Pat Bowlen stepped down in 2014 because of Alzheimer’s. The trust is overseen by three people, including team president and CEO Joe Ellis, who has final say on day-to-day operations until one of Bowlen’s seven children can succeed him as controlling owner.
Bowlen Wallace said in a statement that it is her desire to “lead this team with the same passion my father did and help the Broncos become Super Bowl champions again.”
The Broncos have made 18 of their 22 playoff appearances during the Pat Bowlen era. Since he was introduced as the majority owner on March 23, 1984, the team has the second-most regular-season wins (behind New England) and captured three Super Bowl titles.
“I have advised the Trustees that I am ready and have done everything they said I need to do to take this step,” the 47-year-old Bowlen Wallace said. “Working in management at the Broncos is something I have prepared for and dreamed of doing.”
The stipulations to be controlling owner of the Broncos included completion of a business or law degree and five years in management in the NFL or another major business organization.
Bowlen Wallace graduated from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law in 2016. She also worked with the Broncos as the director of special projects before her employment was ended in 2015.
She’s assisted with Colorado-based nonprofits and charitable organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association. She’s also worked as an executive in the oil and gas industry since 2016.
“My father’s number one goal was to win,” Bowlen Wallace said. “He understood that took financial commitment, hard work, dedication, the right leadership, and drive. He was motivated to win not only for himself and the team but for the pride of Broncos Country, our beloved and loyal fans.”
Bowlen Wallace has the support of Amie Bowlen Klemmer, the oldest Bowlen child; Bill Bowlen, Pat Bowlen’s brother; and minority owners of the team, Kerry and John Bowlen (John is Pat Bowlen’s brother).
“Pat Bowlen’s wish and his legacy was to have one of his children run this team,” Kerry and John Bowlen said in a joint statement. “That is what he always wanted. Beth is the best positioned of all the children to take over now. Her plan is just right — to take over as managing owner now and in the future allow the other children to mature, learn and grow into the position, keeping this team in her family and in Denver, where the Broncos belong.”
The Trust said Pat Bowlen made it clear that his children “were not automatically entitled to a role with the team and that they would have to earn that opportunity through their accomplishments, qualifications and character.”
In the statement, the Trust said it had communicated this with her.
“Although Beth has declined our invitations to discuss her qualifications for the last two years, we will continue to proactively engage and meet with any of the Bowlen children who express a desire to earn the right to succeed their father,” the statement said. “We will vigorously defend Pat’s plan in responding to these and any statements that are contrary to Pat’s words and intentions.”
Added Ellis: “As a trustee and someone Pat designated to oversee his team, I have an enormous responsibility to carefully administer his succession plan and make decisions in the best interests of the Broncos. We will continue to follow Pat’s blueprint — and nobody else’s — while keeping our focus as an organization on having a successful season.”