Road to success
Alumnus Jim Saccomano shares memories from his time with the Broncos and at MSU Denver.
Jim Saccomano spent 36 years with the Denver Broncos, serving in a variety of roles before his retirement at the conclusion of the 2013 football season. Since then, the former vice president of corporate communications has kept a not-so-low profile, continuing to produce his “Broncos Sideline Stories” television series and working as a consultant for the team.
In honor of MSU Denver’s 50th anniversary, the Denver-native answered some questions about his unforgettable decades with the Broncos and the University that put him on the road to success.
When you first got started with the Broncos did you ever think you would spend so many years with the team?
You start off your career and you never think it’s a career. It’s a job. In retrospect, you’re able to go ‘Wow, I’m really fortunate to have a career of this length, at this level.’ I worked under enlightened ownership. Winning coaches. Sold-out stadiums and a crazed populace. Patrick Smyth (executive director of media relations) figured out that in 39 years, including three with the Denver Bears, I did 74 years of 40-hour weeks in the office. But then, because it’s PR and you have to take calls at home, I took about 55,000 calls at home. So 74 years of 40-hour weeks in 39 years, and 55,000 calls at home. Otherwise I just kind of cruised along.
What do you consider the highlights of your career with the Broncos?
I was fortunate, I think, to have been there for the four greatest moments in Broncos history. The four greatest moments, and there can be little debate with me, were winning the two championships, because they’re the world championships, and the acquisitions of John Elway and Peyton Manning.
How do you feel MSU Denver prepared you for your time with the Broncos and life in general?
My time at MSU Denver was literally the foundation of my entire career. The school gave me a chance to grab and hold on to an uncertain but promising future. It is always up to the individual, but MSU Denver gave me a chance.
Could you share a specific memory from your time at MSU Denver, maybe a moment that meant something to you, something you have carried with you ever since?
I have so many memories of MSU Denver seared into my mind, as seminal moments often are. But seeing my wife in a class, for the first time, stands out, along with the positive influence of being with returned Vietnam vets in the classroom — if they could work that hard in school, I could, too. I learned that I could do anything I wanted if I worked hard enough.