Dan Reeves, the only person to appear in multiple Super Bowls as a player and a coach, has died aged 77 at his home in Atlanta, his family said on Saturday. Reeves, who died after complications from a long illness, played eight seasons for the Dallas Cowboys from 1965-1972, helping them win the 1972 Super Bowl, and was an assistant coach on the Dallas squad that captured the 1978 Super Bowl. He went on to be the head coach of the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, losing three Super Bowls with Denver and another by guiding Atlanta in the 1999 Super Bowl.
In all, Reeves took part in the NFL championship spectacle nine times, twice as a Dallas running back, four times as a coach and three as a Dallas assistant coach.
“His legacy will continue through his many friends, players and fans as well as the rest of the NFL community,” the Reeves family said in a statement.
Reeves guided the Broncos for 12 seasons from 1981-1992, masterminding John Elway’s growth into an NFL star quarterback.
“The football world lost a heckuva coach and a man today in Dan Reeves,” Elway said in a statement. “I am grateful for Dan and know that his legacy in this game will continue to live on.”
Reeves coached the Giants from 1993-1996 and Atlanta from 1997-2003, compiling an NFL record of 190-165 with two drawn in 23 seasons as an NFL head coach. His teams reached the playoffs nine times.
“He made an indelible mark on the league and all the people he played with, coached and worked alongside,” Giants owner John Mara said. “He was one of the finest men I’ve ever been around in this business.”
He guided the Falcons to their first Super Bowl, where they lost to Elway and the Broncos.
“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 Arthur Blank said.
On the field, Reeves ran for 1,990 yards and 25 touchdowns and caught 129 passes for 1,693 yards and 17 touchdowns.