Dan Reeves, who coached the Broncos, Giants and Falcons during a decorated career that saw him win more than 200 games, died Saturday at age 77.
A former Cowboys running back and assistant coach, Reeves appeared in nine Super Bowls as a player or coach. He is the 10th-winningest coach in NFL history, winning 191 regular-season games (to go along with 10 playoff contests) from 1981-2003. While Reeves was best known as a coach for his 12 seasons in Denver, he later won Coach of the Year honors with the Giants and Falcons.
“The football world lost a heckuva coach and man today in Dan Reeves,” Broncos executive and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway said Saturday (via Twitter). “Dan was a winner and I owe a lot to him. My heart goes out to Pam [Reeves] and the entire Reeves family.”
Following an eight-year career as a Cowboys running back, Reeves worked as the team’s offensive coordinator for four seasons. The Cowboys advanced to two Super Bowls during those years and won Super Bowl XII. The Broncos hired Reeves as their head coach in 1981. In his third season, Elway arrived. The two led the Broncos to three Super Bowls in the 1980s; they lost each time. The Reeves-Elway combo had Denver in the 1991 AFC championship game as well, but the Broncos parted ways with their longtime coach after the 1992 season.
Reeves coached the Giants for four years (1993-96) and the Falcons for seven (1997-2003). The 1993 Giants finished 11-5, narrowly losing out on home-field advantage in those playoffs. Reeves earned his first Coach of the Year honor for his debut season in New York and collected his second such award five years later, coaching the Falcons to a 14-2 season and the franchise’s first Super Bowl. The Broncos, in Elway’s final game, defeated the Falcons. The Georgia native’s final acts as a head coach came during Michael Vick‘s initial NFL seasons, including a 2002 slate when Vick powered Atlanta to the divisional round.
Of the seven retired coaches ahead of Reeves on the NFL’s all-time wins list, just one (Marty Schottenheimer) is not in the Hall of Fame. Reeves has yet to be inducted.