A look at former Broncos head coach Dan Reeves’ legacy

A picture the Denver Broncos posted after Reeves' passing.
A picture the Denver Broncos posted after Reeves' passing.(Denver Broncos)
Published: Jan. 1, 2022 at 10:42 PM MST
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DENVER, Colo. (KKTV) -Saturday was a sad day for Broncos Country as former Broncos head coach, Dan Reeves passed away at the age of 77.

According to his family, he died at his home in Atlanta peacefully after a battle with dementia.

Reeves was a member of the Broncos Ring of Fame and led the Broncos as coach from 1981-1992. It was Reeves that set the tone of the Broncos winning ways in the 1980s.

“Reeves coached the Broncos with integrity, character and toughness along with sincere appreciation for his players and coaches,” the Denver Broncos said in a statement.

Reeves was a winner his whole life. During his eight-year professional playing career the former Dallas Cowboy won a Superbowl with the team in the 1970s. But it was his time on the sidelines that he would be remembered for the most.

“Its always easier when you do one of these coaches shows with a winning coach, and you are a winner and will continue to be I’m sure,” a sports reporter says in a clip from the Dan Reeves show shortly after Reeves ended his tenure with the Broncos.

Reeves led Denver to three Superbowls and won five AFC West titles, along with six playoff berths. He is also one of the only 10 coaches to have won more than 190 regular season games in his career.

The football world is also mourning his loss. Former Bronco and Hall of Famer, Steve Atwater said Reeves was not only a great coach and leader, but also a good person.

John Elway also released a statement on Twitter.

“Dan was a winner. I owe a lot to him. He was instrumental in my career and growth as a quarterback. We were able to win a lot of football games together,” it said in part.

He’s one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, and after his stint with the broncos,, went on to coach Atlanta Falcons and lead them to their first Superbowl.

A great lost not only for the teams Reeves molded but for the sports world in general--and to put it in his own words from a press conference some 30 years ago--he will be missed.

“If you don’t think that you can be replaced, just take your fist and put it in a bucket of water and pull your fist out and you look down at that bucket of water and see how much you’ll be missed.”

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