Dan Reeves, Former NFL Coach and Dallas Cowboys Running Back, Dead at 77

Dan Reeves died "due to complications from a long illness," his family said in a statement

Dan Reeves
Photo: getty

Dan Reeves, who spent decades in the NFL as a running back and a coach, has died "due to complications from a long illness," according to his family. He was 77.

"Legendary NFL player and coach Dan Reeves passed away early this morning, peacefully and surrounded by his loving family at his home in Atlanta, GA," the family said in a statement released through former Atlanta Falcons media relations director Aaron Salkin on Saturday, per the Associated Press.

"His legacy will continue through his many friends, players and fans as well as the rest of the NFL community," they added.

Falcons owner and chairman Arthur M. Blank fondly remembered Reeves' impact on Atlanta, where he coached from 1997 to 2003. Reeves also led the Falcons to their first-ever Super Bowl in 1999.

Dan Reeves
Focus on Sport/Getty

"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," said Blank, 79.

"On behalf of the Atlanta Falcons, I extend our condolences to Dan's family and friends as they mourn his passing," he added.

The Denver Broncos, which he coached from 1981 to 1992, also addressed Reeves' passing in a statement shared on social media.

"We're saddened by the passing of Ring of Fame Head Coach Dan Reeves, who led us to three Super Bowl appearances," the team wrote. "We send our sincerest condolences to his family."

Former Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe reacted to news of Reeves' death in the comment section, remembering his former coach for making a difference in his life.

"This breaks my heart," wrote Sharpe, 53. "Coach Reeves believed enough in me to draft me, forget to cut me and then found a position for me to play to get me on the field. Coach Reeves, I'll never forget what you did for me and my family. Rest easy Coach. 💔💔🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾."

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Former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick also took to social media with a message about Reeves.

"I'm saddened to hear about the passing of my beloved Coach Dan Reeves. He was a great husband, father and mentor to so many," Vick, 41, tweeted. "I loved him like a father and he will truly be missed. My prayers are with his family during this time. Love you, Coach."

In addition to his time with the Broncos and Falcons, Reeves served as head coach for the New York Giants from 1993 to 1996. He earned the NFL's Coach of the Year award twice, in 1993 and 1998.

Prior to his coaching career, Reeves played eight seasons as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys. Reeves, who was undrafted, racked up 1,990 rushing yards, 1,693 receiving yards and 42 touchdowns as a player between 1965 and 1972.

Currently, Reeves is the only person in NFL history to play and coach in multiple Super Bowls. He won two Super Bowl titles with the Cowboys: once as a player in 1972 and another as an assistant coach in 1978.

Reeves made four Super Bowl appearances as a head coach, three of which came with the Broncos in 1987, 1988 and 1990, though Denver never won the title.

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