Skip to Content

Randy Gradishar elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame


LAS VEGAS — Former Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024, it was announced Thursday night at NFL Honors from Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas.

Chosen as a senior nominee by the 50-person Selection Committee, Gradishar will be enshrined with the rest of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024 on Saturday, Aug. 3, at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. A seven-time Pro Bowl selection who played his entire 10-year career with the Broncos from 1974-83, Gradishar is now the 14th Bronco who spent multiple seasons with the club elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Please see below for a statement from Broncos Owner & CEO Greg Penner along with biographical information on Gradishar:


“We join all of Broncos Country in congratulating Randy Gradishar on becoming the newest Denver Bronco elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Without question, Randy is one of the most impactful figures in Broncos history and one of the greatest linebackers of all-time. The iconic ‘Orange Crush’ will now finally have its first Hall of Famer, and there could not be a better representative of our first Super Bowl team and this organization than Randy.

“Carrie and I were honored to be part of Randy’s ‘Knock on the Door’ surprise a few weeks ago. He has waited nearly 40 years for this moment, and we are excited to celebrate Randy this summer as he takes his well-deserved place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

The only Bronco to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press (1978), Gradishar finished his 10-year career in Denver with the most Pro Bowl selections (7) of any player in Broncos history. He was one of only five NFL defensive players to earn at least seven Pro Bowls during his career from 1974-83, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jack LambertRobert BrazileJack Ham and Randy White.

The Broncos’ all-time leading tackler (2,049), Gradishar is also one of only 10 linebackers in NFL history with seven Pro Bowl selections, 20 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. With Gradishar’s election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, all 10 will now be enshrined in Canton.

Gradishar was named All-Pro six times (1977-81, ’83) as a Bronco, including two first-team Associated Press accolades (1977-78). He never missed a game in 10 seasons with the Broncos, appearing in all 151 possible contests (145 regular season and 6 playoff) for the franchise.

In addition to his individual accolades, Gradishar helped the Broncos become perennial contenders for the first time in their history. Denver earned its first four postseason berths (1977-79, ’83) with Gradishar as its centerpiece, including advancing to its first-ever Super Bowl in 1977 (XII).

Gradishar ranked first on the Broncos in defensive stops for a franchise-record nine consecutive seasons from 1975-83. During that span, the Broncos’ iconic “Orange Crush” defense ranked fourth in the NFL in scoring defense (17.5 ppg) and sixth in total defense (303.2 ypg).

In addition to his franchise-record 2,049 career tackles, Gradishar totaled 19.5 sacks, 20 interceptions (335 yds., 3 TDs), and 13 fumble recoveries (1 TD) during his career. His 33 takeaways tied for the fourth-most by an NFL linebacker in the 10-year period from 1974-83.

Selected by the Broncos in the first round (14th overall) of the 1974 NFL Draft from Ohio State University, Gradishar was a two-time All-American for the Buckeyes under legendary Head Coach Woody Hayes. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (1998), Broncos Ring of Fame (1989) and Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (1987).

The Broncos’ NFL Salute to Service nominee in 2018 and 2023, Gradishar has dedicated his life to honoring and supporting the military community since his retirement as a player. In addition to supporting numerous Broncos Salute to Service events and participating in multiple oversees USO tours, he currently serves as the outreach coordinator at Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Gradishar graduated from Champion (Ohio) High School and was born March 3, 1952.


NamePos.Years w/BroncosHOF Class
Willie BrownCB1963-661984
John ElwayQB1983-19982004
Gary ZimmermanT1993-972008
Floyd LittleRB1967-752010
Shannon SharpeTE1990-99, '2002-032011
Terrell DavisRB1995-20022017
Brian DawkinsS2009-112018
Pat BowlenOwner1984-20192019
Champ BaileyCB2004-132019
Steve AtwaterS1989-982020
John LynchS2004-072021
Peyton ManningQB2012-152021
DeMarcus WareOLB2014-162023
Randy GradisharLB1974-832024
Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Rob Namnoum

Rob is the Sports Director at KRDO-TV. He started working at KRDO in 1999. He has covered the NFL since 1998. Learn more about Rob here.


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content