Former Denver Broncos defensive lineman Harold Hasselbach has passed away on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 56. He played seven seasons in Denver from 1994-2000.
Prior to joining the Broncos, Hasselbach, who was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, played four seasons in the Canadian Football League where he won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders.
He played in college at Washington and after his stint in the CFL, he came to Denver and became part of a defense where he was a rotational defensive lineman but he made 29 starts in his NFL career, which was all in Denver.
He played in 112 career games and had 154 tackles, 17.5 sacks and four fumble recoveries. He was also a part of the teams that won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. His playing career concluded at the end of the 2000 season when he was 33 years old.
After his playing career ended, he got into coaching. He coached the defensive line at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora but had been diagnosed with cancer about six months ago.
Hasselbach had a well-traveled life that led to a career as a professional football player. He lived in Kenya, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Surinam before eventually landing in Vancouver, British Columbia. He really had a road to the NFL unlike any other and he should be remembered as a strong contributor to those 1990s Broncos teams.
He was on a defensive line in those days that included some great players such as Neil Smith and Alfred Williams. Michael Dean Perry, Keith Traylor, Mike Lodish, Maa Tanuvasa and a young Trevor Pryce were also on the roster. And despite that, Hasselbach was still a regular contributor to the defense.
He wore jersey No. 96 for seven seasons, longer than any player in team history wore that number. Here are some highlights from Hasselbach's playing career.