Ex-NFL Player, Head Coach Dan Reeves Dead at 77

Former NFL player and head coach Dan Reeves has died. He was 77.

Reeves’ family announced his passing following complications from a long illness in a statement to NFL Network on Saturday morning.

Per the statement, Reeves died “peacefully and surrounded by his loving family at his home in Atlanta. … His legacy will continue through his many friends, players and fans as well as the rest of the NFL community.”

Reeves participated in a then-record nine Super Bowls during his 38 years in the NFL. He won a Super Bowl as a player with the Dallas Cowboys and an assistant coach on the team.

Reeves posted a 190-165-2 record during his head coaching stints with the Denver Broncos (1981-92), New York Giants (1993-96) and Atlanta Falcons (1997-2003).

As a player, Reeves signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cowboys in 1965. He quickly shifted positions from quarterback to halfback given Dallas’ injuries at the latter position.

Reeves recorded 1,990 rushing yards and 1,693 receiving yards with 42 total touchdowns (25 rushing, 17 receiving) during his eight seasons with the Cowboys. He helped Dallas secure a 24-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI before joining the team’s coaching staff, with which he assisted the Cowboys in advancing to the Super Bowl on three more occasions.

Reeves, at 37, became the youngest head coach in the NFL at the time when he joined the Broncos in 1981. The team advanced to the Super Bowl in 1986, 1987, and 1989 seasons – losing each time – before he was fired following the 1992 season.

“We’re saddened by the passing of Ring of Fame Head Coach Dan Reeves, who led us to three Super Bowl appearances,” the Broncos wrote on their official Twitter account. “We send our sincerest condolences to his family.”

He joined the Giants in 1993 and was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year later that season. He spent three more seasons with New York before being fired after the 1996 campaign.

“Dan Reeves had a legendary NFL career as both a player and a coach,” Giants president John Mara said in a statement. “He made an indelible mark on the league and all of the people he played with, coached and worked alongside. He was one of the finest men I have ever been around in this business. Our deepest condolences to [wife] Pam and the entire Reeves family.”

Reeves joined the Falcons in 1997 and guided the club to the Super Bowl the following season, however the club fell to John Elway and the Broncos. The Georgia native was named NFL Coach of the Year following the 1998 season.

“Dan Reeves leaves a lasting legacy in our game as a player and coach. His track record of success in Dallas, Denver, New York and Atlanta over several decades speaks for itself, marking a long and successful life and career in football,” Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank said. “On behalf of the Atlanta Falcons I extend our condolences to Dan’s family and friends as they mourn his passing.”

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