The sports world was saddened over the weekend to learn the news that famed former NFL coach and player Dan Reeves died at the age of 77, as Fox News reports.
A statement released by Reeves’ family indicated that the football legend passed away surrounded by loved ones at home in Atlanta, Georgia, and his death was attributed to “complications from a long illness.”
According to ESPN, Reeves made appearances in nine Super Bowl games, either as a player, a head coach, or an assistant coach and was one of just 10 coaches to have racked up at least 190 regular-season wins during his career.
The outlet further noted that Reeves was involved with the NFL in one capacity or another for 39 years, starting with his own stint as a running back for the Dallas Cowboys, which began in 1965 and included his membership on the Super Bowl VI winning team.
Once his playing days were over, Reeves moved into the realm of coaching, starting as an assistant with the Cowboys organization and eventually becoming head coach of the Denver Broncos, the New York Giants, and the Atlanta Falcons.
As ESPN noted, when Reeves was ultimately replaced as Falcons’ head coach, the only team leaders to have surpassed his record of wins were legendary figures Don Shula, Tom Landry, George Halas, Curly Lambeau, and Chuck Noll.
Reaction to the news of Reeves’ death was met with heartfelt tributes from across the professional sports world, with former Broncos standout John Elway writing on Twitter, “The football world lost a heckuva coach and man today in Dan Reeves. Dan was a winner and I owe a lot to him. My heart goes out to Pam and the entire Reeves family.”
Former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick expressed his sadness on social media as well, stating, “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. I loved him like a father and he will truly be missed.”
Reeves is survived by his wife Pam, three children, a host of grandchildren and great children, as well as a nation of loyal football fans who followed and admired his legendary career.