Marin Briscoe, who became the NFL’s first black quarterback more than 50 years ago, died Monday.
Briscoe, 76, died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, California, his daughter, Angela Marriott, told The Associated Press. He was taken to hospital with a circulatory problem in his leg.
Briscoe, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, was a star quarterback at the University of Omaha before the Denver Broncos drafted him as a 14th-round cornerback in 1968. Briscoe told the team that if he couldn’t try quarterback, he would go home and be a teacher. Denver agreed to audition, and the 5-foot-10 Dynamo, nicknamed “Magic,” entered the starting lineup on Oct. 6.
Marlin Briscoe became the AFL’s first black quarterback with the Denver Broncos in the 1968 season, but the team didn’t give him a chance to compete for the job in 1969, leading him to plead for release.
Briscoe started five games that season. He finished second in the AFL Rookie of the Year after rushing for 1,589 yards and 14 touchdowns and 308 yards and 3 points.
Denver didn’t give him a chance to run for quarterback in 1969, so he asked for his release. He was a Pro Bowl receiver for the Buffalo Bills and won two Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins. He was a receiver for the 1972 Dolphins, which ended a perfect season.
Briscoe was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.