Sport

Former Broncos' coach Robert "Red" Miller has died

Former Broncos' coach Robert

Robert "Red" Miller, who coached the famed Denver Broncos' Orange Crush teams of the 1970s, has died.

"Our deepest sympathies go out to Red's entire family, especially his wife, Nan", Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement.

Red Miller, coaching the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII in January 1978. "He left a great impact on this franchise by laying the foundation for our championship tradition and was so proud to be part of our first Super Bowl team 40 years ago".

"We knew we had a very good team", Broncos receiver Rick Upchurch told KUSA-TV in Denver. Guiding a team of large personalities, including linebacker Tom Jackson and defensive lineman Lyle Alzado, Miller provided a constant rudder and earned the trust of his players.

Miller will be inducted posthumously as the 32nd member of the Broncos' Ring of Fame on November 19, when the Broncos host the Cincinnati Bengals.

Miller died Wednesday morning from stroke complications in Denver.

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Services are pending. The Broncos have gone 45-36 against the Raiders since the start of Miller's first season of 1977 heading their AFC West matchup Sunday in Denver.

True to Miller's word, the Broncos showed they were for real in 1977 by moving to 5-0 with a 30-7 win at Oakland - a game in which the Broncos intercepted Ken Stabler seven times - then beating the defending Super Bowl champions 20-17 in the AFC title game.

Even a 27-10 loss to the Cowboys couldn't dampen enthusiasm for a team that had never reached the playoffs since its founding as an AFL team in 1960.

Over his four seasons in Denver, the Orange Crush defense - named for the team's bright orange jerseys - allowed a league-low 15 points a game.

A member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 1988), Miller also served as offensive line coach for the Broncos from 1963-65.

Miller is survived by his wife, Nan; his son, Steve; his stepson, Jeff; and five grandchildren. "He is preceded in death by his daughter Lana".

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