Randy Gradishar was the only Ring of Fame inductee in 1989 in recognition of his outstanding 10-year career (1974-83) at linebacker for the Broncos.
Selected by the Broncos in the first round (14th overall) of the 1974 NFL Draft, Gradishar never missed a game, playing in 145 in a row. He accounted for 33 turnovers (20 INTs, 13 FR) during his 10-year career, and that total tied for the fourth most by an NFL line- backer in that span. Voted the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1978 by AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly and NEA (George Halas Award), Gradishar helped the Broncos to four playoff berths (1977-79, ‘83), two division titles (1977-78) and an appearance in Super Bowl XII during the 1977 season. His teammates also voted him defensive MVP in 1978 and ‘80. While at Ohio State, Gradishar was referred to by Head Coach Woody Hayes as “the best linebacker I ever coached at Ohio State.” A three-year starter for the Buckeyes and a consensus All-American as a senior, Gradishar received Academic All-America honors in college. He was president of the Denver Broncos Youth Foundation from 1982-92 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998.