Austin “Goose” Gonsoulin makes no punster claims of laying the golden egg in the tremendous success of the Denver Broncos over the last decade. Instead, he exclaims a genuine pride of being one of the pioneers of the Denver football club.
Gonsoulin is candid in talking about the topsy-turvy beginning of the Broncos. None could speak more about the life and death struggle than “Goose”, a charter member in 1960 and a seven-year start performer of a mostly starless team.
He was the third of the original Broncos to be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
After a scintillating career as a safety at Baylor University in the Southwest Conference, Gonsoulin was drafted by the Dallas Texans, who later became the Kansas City Chiefs. However, shortly before the inaugural season he was traded to Denver.
The Broncos were desperately in need of defensive strength and Gonsoulin was the top choice to glue the Denver secondary together. “Goose” had been an All-League player and captain of the Baylor Bears. He particularly specialized in interceptions, deadly tackling and the safety blitz.
From day one as a Bronco, “Goose” lived up to all expectations. And the sparse following of the Denver professional team was quick to single him out as a super player. He was durable, dependable and daring in roaming the secondary defense like a centerfielder in baseball.
Broncos management must have felt the same as the fans, for he remained with the team through seven seasons, a period which saw wholesale shuffling of personnel created by sheer frustration.
He was chosen All-League in the AFL three times and appeared in six post-season All-Star games. Gonsoulin led the league in career interceptions with 43.
Gonsoulin’s contributions to the Broncos were not forgotten by the fans long after the team had moved from the other side of the tracks to become one of the most successful franchises in the NFL. In 1980, a fan poll chose him on the all-20-year team of Broncos and he came from his South Texas home to be reunited with many old Colorado friends.
Selected first by the Dallas Texans in the 1960 AFL Draft, and later traded to Denver, dubbed the “Original Bronco”