Dan Reeves, who reached the Super Bowl nine times as both a former player and coach, died Saturday (January 1) morning at the age of 77.
Reeves’ family issued a statement to NFL Network‘s Mike Garafolo confirming the longtime former coach’s death.
“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 statement read via NFL.com. “He passed away at age 77 due to complications from a long illness. His legacy will continue through his many friends, players and fans as well as the rest of the NFL community. Arrangements are still to be determined.”
Reeves’ nearly four-decade NFL career began as an undrafted running back for the Dallas Cowboys from 1965-72, which included a victory in Super Bowl VI.
The Georgia native initially joined legendary Cowboys coach Tom Landry‘s staff as an assistant in 1972 upon his retirement from playing and re-joined the staff two years later, holding the position until 1980, which included a 27-10 victory over Reeves’ future team, the Denver Broncos, in Super Bowl XII.
Reeves was named the head coach of the Broncos in 1981 and led the franchise to three AFC championships and three Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXII and Super Bowl XXIV) during 12 seasons.
Reeves then spent four seasons with the New York Giants, which included a playoff berth and being named Associated Press Coach of the Year during his first season in 1993.
Reeves was named the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 1997 and led the team to a 14-2 record in 1998, its greatest season in franchise history and its NFC Championship victory.
Reeves is the only individual in NFL history to have reached the Super Bowl multiple times as both a player and coach.