Some of the biggest moments in Denver Broncos history include Dan Reeves on the sidelines. If you think about the Broncos of the 80s, you think John Elway and Dan Reeves. For many of us, this was our football childhood.
Under Dan Reeves, the Broncos went to three Super Bowls in 4 years. Taking over as head coach in 1981, Reeves was a part of the transition to the Pat Bowlen era. He was there when Denver traded for John Elway. It was one of the most successful eras in coaching history.
Iconic moments like The Drive, The Fumble, The Drive II were all part of his career in Denver. The three AFC Championships in four years were a major accomplishment. While the team was unable to complete each season with a Super Bowl win, they were always a legitimate contender for the title in Reeves’ time in Denver.
He finished his career in Denver with a 110-73-1 regular season record, and 7-6 in the playoffs. After being fired after the 1992 season, Reeves took over as the head coach for the New York Giants. After making the playoffs in his first year, he had less success, and moved on to the Atlanta Falcons.
With the Falcons, he went to one more Super Bowl. He was on the sidelines for John Elway’s final game. It may not have ended the way Reeves wanted, but was fitting to have him there at the end of Elway’s career.
As a head coach, Reeves finished with over 200 regular season and playoff wins (201-174-2). He is one of only 9 head coaches to finish his career with that many wins. Based off just his coaching career Reeves deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Add his time as a player with the Dallas Cowboys in, and Reeves spent 38 years in the NFL. He went to 9 Super Bowls, winning one with the Cowboys. He threw a TD pass in the famed Ice Bowl.
It was a great football life, and one that should have already been recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Rest in Peace Coach. Thanks for the memories.
Statement from the Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are deeply saddened by the loss of legendary Head Coach Dan Reeves, who passed away this morning at age 77 at home in Atlanta.
One of the winningest coaches in NFL history, Coach Reeves set the foundation for the Broncos’ decade of dominance in the 1980s and championship tradition for years to come.
A 2014 Broncos Ring of Fame inductee, Reeves led the Broncos as head coach from 1981-92 and was instrumental in the franchise becoming a perennial contender. With competitiveness, consistency and a style all his own, he guided the Broncos to three Super Bowl appearances, five AFC West titles and six playoff berths.
The only coach to lead an AFC team to three Super Bowls in the 1980s, Reeves captured the AFC Championship three times in a four-year period from 1986-89. He led Denver to appearances in Super Bowl XXI (1986 season), XXII (1987) and XXIV (1989), ushering in a new era of Broncos football on the national stage.
Reeves coached the Broncos with integrity, character and toughness along with sincere appreciation for his players and coaches. His time with the Broncos was part of a remarkable 39-year career in professional football in which he appeared in the Super Bowl an astonishing nine times as a player or coach.
Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to Dan’s wife and high school sweetheart, Pam; his children Dana, Lee and Laura; his grandchildren and great grandchildren; and the entire Reeves family.