Goose Gonsoulin, an original member of the Denver Broncoswhose 11 interceptions in his rookie season set a team record that still stands more than 50 years later, died Monday in Beaumont, Tex. He was 76.
His death was announced by the Broncos. The team did not specify the cause, but Kathy Levingston of Levingston Funeral Home in Groves, Tex., said he had prostate cancer.
After a standout career at Baylor University, Gonsoulin was picked in the first American Football League draft by the Dallas Texans, who then sent him to the Broncos in the team’s first trade.
Gonsoulin, a safety, instantly stood out with the Broncos as well. In the first regular-season game in American Football League history, on Sept. 9, 1960, in Boston, he had the league’s first interception as the Broncos beat the Patriots, 13-10.
He had four interceptions in a game against Buffalo later that month — a record that has never been surpassed in the A.F.L. or the N.F.L. — and finished his Broncos career as the A.F.L.’s career leader with 43.
When the Pro Football Hall of Fame chose the greatest A.F.L. players in 1970, the year the A.F.L. merged with the N.F.L., Gonsoulin, who played in five A.F.L. All-Star games, was named to the second team.
Austin William Gonsoulin was born on June 7, 1938, in Port Arthur, Tex. He played seven seasons for the Broncos, appearing in 94 games, and finished his career with the San Francisco 49ers of the N.F.L.
In 1984 Gonsoulin was one of the inaugural inductees into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame.