Eugene L. Mingo (born September 22, 1938) is a former professional American football player who played several positions including halfback, placekicker, and return specialist. He is widely recognized as the first African American placekicker in American football.
In 1960, he had the first punt return for a touchdown in the American Football League, for the Denver Broncos. That touchdown won the first-ever American Football League game, as the Broncos defeated the Boston Patriots. Mingo also scored the first points in Mile High Stadium, then called Bears Stadium, with an 18-yard field goal. In the 1961 season opener at War Memorial Stadium against the Buffalo Bills, Mingo threw two touchdown passes, from the halfback position, to help the Broncos win 22-10: a 50-yarder to Lionel Taylor in the first quarter, and a 52-yarder to Taylor in the third. Mingo kicked the PATs after each score. He led the American Football League in scoring as a rookie in 1960 with 123 points and in 1962 with 137 points. Mingo holds the Broncos' franchise record for the longest touchdown run, an 82-yarder against the Raiders in 1962. He also played for the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins. He kicked for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969 and 1970.
On September 14, 2014, Mingo, along with Dan Reeves and Rick Upchurch will be inducted into the Broncos Ring of Fame.
By Dean Hanley
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