Dan Reeves, the only person to appear in multiple Super Bowls as a player and coach, died at the age of 77 at his home in Atlanta, his family announced on Saturday.
Reeves, who died of complications from a long illness, played eight seasons for the Dallas Cowboys from 1965 to 1972, helping them win the 1972 Super Bowl, and was an assistant coach for the Dallas team that won the 1978 Super Bowl.
He went on to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons, losing three Super Bowls to Denver and another while guiding Atlanta in the 1999 Super Bowl.
In total, Reeves has appeared on the NFL Championship show nine times, twice as a Dallas running back, four times as a coach, and three times 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 to 1992, spearheading John Elway’s growth into a star NFL quarterback.
“The football world has lost a heckuva coach and a man today to Dan Reeves,” Elway said in a statement. “I am grateful to Dan and know his legacy in this game will live on.”
Reeves coached the Giants from 1993 to 1996 and Atlanta from 1997 to 2003, compiling an NFL record 190 to 165 with two draws in 23 seasons as the NFL head coach. His teams have reached the playoffs nine times.
“He left an indelible mark on the league and everyone he played, coached and worked with,” said Giants owner John Mara. “He was one of the best men I have ever known in this business.”
He guided the Falcons to their first Super Bowl, where they lost to Elway and the Broncos.
“His decades-long track record of success in Dallas, Denver, New York and Atlanta speaks for itself, marking a long and successful life and career in football,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
On the court, Reeves ran for 1,990 yards and 25 touchdowns and caught 129 passes for 1,693 yards and 17 touchdowns.