Former NFL player and head coach Dan Reeves died January 1, 2022 as a result of complications form dementia in his Atlanta home at the age of 77. A statement issued by the Falcons noted that Reeves died, “peacefully and surrounded by his loving family,” at the time of his death. He was only three weeks away from turning 78.
Reeves coached for the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, and the New York Giants where he has a winning record of 190 games. Counting regular season and playoff games, Reeves has a record of 201 wins, 174 loses, and two ties. Despite his winning record, Reeves has yet to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Prior to trolling the sidelines, Reeves played for the Dallas Cowboys as a running back when then Cowboys head coach Tom Landry made Reeves a player/coach; launching a coaching career that would span over two decades.
Reeves was 37 when he took over the head coaching duties for the Denver Broncos. One of the biggest moves Reeves made after coming to Denver was to trade for quarterback John Elway. The Broncos made it to the Super Bowl three times in a four year period but unfortunately were beaten soundly in all three games. He also led the Atlanta Falcons to a Super Bowl, losing to the Broncos. He joins Marv Levy and Bud Grant, Reeves is known as a coach who went zero and four in Super Bowl games.
Over the course of his career in the NFL as a player and coach, Reeves was a part of nine Super Bowl games; he won two – one as a player and one as an assistant coach.
He also earned a Super Bowl ring while playing for the Dallas Cowboys. He is the only person in the NFL to have gone to the Super Bowl as a player and as a coach.
He is a two time AP NFL Coach of the Year and is a part of the Ring of Fame in Denver.
Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway spoke on his former coach saying, “the football world lost a heckuva coach and man. I owe a lot to him — he was instrumental in my career and growth as a quarterback. We were able to win a lot of football games together.”
Elway added, “when you look at all Dan did in this league with all the success, all the Super Bowls and all the wins, I don’t think there is any question he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
He was born Daniel Edward Reeves on January 19, 1944 in Rome, Georgia but grew up in the town of Americus. He played quarterback for three years at South Carolina. A two sport player, Reeves was also a part of the Gamecock baseball team. Undrafted, Reeves signed with the Cowboys who made him a running/half back. When a knee injury limited his playing time, Coach Landry added him to the coaching staff.
Reeves is survived by his former high school sweetheart and wife of over 55 years Pam; children Dana, Lee, and Laura; grandchildren; and great grandchildren.
feature photo credit: [[File:Dan Reeves.JPG|Dan_Reeves]]