Marlin Briscoe, 1st Black starting QB in AFL, dies at 76

Marlin Briscoe
Posted at 1:18 PM, Jun 28, 2022

Marlin Briscoe, the first Black starting quarterback in the American Football League, died at 76.

Briscoe's daughter, Angela Marriott, told The Associated Press that he died of pneumonia at a hospital in Norwalk, California, on Monday.

He was in the hospital due to circulation issues in his legs.

Briscoe was a star quarterback at Omaha University before the Denver Broncos drafted him as a cornerback in the 14th round in 1968.

He told the team he wanted a tryout at quarterback.

The Omaha, Nebraska, native told the Broncos that he'd return home to be a teacher if he didn't get a tryout.

Denver agreed to an audition, and the 5-foot-10 dynamo nicknamed "The Magician" ended up starting five games that year.

On Sept. 29, he almost rallied the team to win against the Boston Patriots.

A week later, he earned his historic first start.

But by 1969, the Broncos didn't give Briscoe a chance to compete for the quarterback position, so he asked to be released.

The following year, Briscoe changed from quarterback to receiver and signed to play for the Buffalo Bills.

Briscoe became a member of the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.