Greenwood Village — It could have happened a year ago, but schedules didn't work out. Now, it's as it should be, an Elway coaching a younger Elway.
"That's a good way of putting it," said Jack Elway, Cherry Creek High School's senior quarterback who is being overseen through preseason practice by someone who knows a little about the position, his father, John, the former Bronco and NFL Hall-of-Famer.
"It's good," Jack Elway said. "It's nice to have him out there, but I've actually always had him as a coach at home."
Since the beginning of drills last week John Elway has been tutoring his son as well as all of the Bruins quarterbacks, much to the delight of Cherry Creek head coach Greg Critchett. Their new assistant with the cap, sunglasses and huge knee brace is the only quarterback to start in five Super Bowls.
"I had the time and wanted to coach," the elder Elway said. "I figured this would be the last chance I'd get to do it. I talked to Greg and he allowed me to come out and help."
Critchett said he talked with John prior to last season about helping out as an instructor but the logistics didn't work out. Elway has modified his demanding schedule to make time this fall.
"The first thing he said was that he has something to give to all the kids and there's truth to it," Critchett said.
John Elway, who was coached in California by his father, Jack, previously spent time on the sidelines with his son in local Pop Warner play. He didn't want to miss his last chance to coach Jack, as well as help out other prep players.
"My job is to teach my son and the other quarterbacks about the game," John Elway said. "I just felt it would be a shame if I didn't do it."
Jack Elway, who has taken unofficial recruiting trips to Oregon and UCLA, said his father is helping him "mostly with coverages and reading them, and knowing where to go with the ball. He'll set up at the line with me and tell me to look away from the corner or that he's dropping, just seeing the coverages ... then from there I can make a better throw."
Critchett said the elder Elway has stepped in like a veteran coach.
"I'm just trying to get all of these players in the best position to be successful," John Elway said. "That's our job as coaches."
Critchett, whose team opens Aug. 31 against Montbello, indicated his new assistant "didn't want this to fuel a bigger media frenzy, he just wants to be in the background."
That will be difficult, the coach admitted, but the opportunity to add one of the greatest players in NFL history to his staff was too good to pass up.
"As a coach, you're trying to not to have fathers on your staff," he said, "but this is a little different deal."
Staff Writer Mark Kiszla contributed to this report.