Biography: Gene Mingo, HB/K

Gene Mingo
Former Denver Broncos player Gene Mingo holds his ring after bring inducted into the Broncos ring of honor at half time of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Gene Mingo, who played five seasons with the club (1960-64), was one of three inductees into the Ring of Fame in 2014, becoming the fourth “original Bronco” to receive the honor.

During the first four seasons (1960-63) in Broncos history, Mingo ranked third in professional football with 375 total points, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Paul Hornung (396 pts.) and Patriots Hall of Fame wide receiver/ kicker Gino Cappelletti (448 pts.). He led the American Football League in scoring on two occasions—producing 123 points (6 TDs, 18 FGs, 33 PATs) in Denver’s inaugural 1960 season and 137 points (4 TDs, 27 FGs, 32 PATs) as an AFL All-Star selection in 1962.

A multi-talented weapon during the formative years of the franchise, Mingo appeared in 59 career games for the Broncos and totaled 185 rushes for 777 yards (4.2 avg.) with eight touchdowns on the ground and 47 catches for 399 yards (8.5 avg.) with three touchdowns through the air. He also completed 6-of-18 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. On special teams, he connected on 72-of-119 field goals (60.5%) and 111-of-116 extra points (95.7%) for the Broncos and returned 18 punts for 214 yards (11.9 avg.) with one touchdown along with 34 kickoffs for 742 yards (21.8 avg.). He returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown in the first regular-season AFL game—a 13-10 Broncos victory against the Boston Patriots on Sept. 9, 1960.

Mingo later served as an honorary captain for Denver’s “Legacy Game” against the Patriots on Oct. 11, 2009, commemorating the franchise’s 50th season. A pioneer as the first African-American placekicker in professional football history, Mingo finished his career playing in a combined 71 games for Oakland (1964-65), Miami (1966-67), Washington (1967) and Pittsburgh (1969-70).