Dan Reeves

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Dan Reeves
No. 30
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1944-01-19) January 19, 1944 (age 70)
Place of birth: Rome, Georgia
Career information
College: South Carolina
Debuted in 1965 for the Dallas Cowboys
Last played in 1972 for the Dallas Cowboys
Career history
 As player:
 As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season 190–165–2
Postseason 11–9
Career record 201–174–2
Coaching stats at pro-football-reference.com

Daniel Edward "Dan" Reeves (born January 19, 1944) is a former American football player and head coach. He has participated in more Super Bowls as player/assistant coach/Head Coach than anyone else. He played in two Super Bowls, Super Bowl V and Super Bowl VI and also was an assistant coach in three more, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XII, Super Bowl XIII, and was Head Coach in four more Super Bowl XXI, Super Bowl XXII and Super Bowl XXIV as the Denver Broncos' head coach, and Super Bowl XXXIII as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He currently works as an analyst for the Westwood One radio network covering NFL games.

Early life[edit]

Reeves was born in Rome, Georgia, and grew up in Americus, Georgia.

He attended Americus High School, where he played football, baseball and also made the all-state basketball team his senior year.

After he missed four games with a broken collarbone during his senior season, only the University of South Carolina was interested enough to offer him a football scholarship. The interest from other schools came later, when he won the MVP trophy at the Georgia High School football all-star game, but he decided to stay with his first choice.

College career[edit]

He attended the University of South Carolina, where he played quarterback from 1962-1964.

He became the first-team quarterback during his sophomore year and was named second-team all-conference after his junior and senior years.

Reeves was more comfortable running than throwing, but was effective enough to set 10 school records and in 1964 against a strong Nebraska team, champion of the Big Eight, he passed for 348 yards.

Even though he only compiled an 8-21-4 record, he ended his college career as the leading passer in Gamecock history, accumulating 2,561 yards passing, to go along with 16 touchdowns and 3 games with 100 yards rushing.

Reeves also became a very good baseball prospect, playing as a right fielder for the Gamecocks team.

He was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.[1]

In 2006, he was inducted into the State of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Professional career[edit]

Although he went undrafted after graduation, he received offers to play professional sports with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, the San Diego Chargers in the AFL and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Major League Baseball.

Reeves signed with the Cowboys as a rookie undrafted free agent in 1965 to play the safety position, but was later moved to halfback, after a series of injuries depleted the team's depth during training camp. His rookie year was spent playing mostly in the kickoff and punt units.

In 1966, Tom Landry looking for more speed at running back, shifted All-Pro safety Mel Renfro to offense. Renfro was hurt in the opening game against the New York Giants, and Reeves took advantage of his playing opportunity by having a break out season leading the team in rushing with 757 yards and in scoring with 96 points while finishing second in receiving with 557 yards. He set a Cowboys record with 16 touchdowns (8 rushing and 8 receiving), had over 1300 combined yards, was sixth in the NFL in rushing, first in touchdowns and sixth in scoring.

He was voted to The Sporting News All-Pro team at the end of the year. Reeves became the NFL's sixth-leading rusher. Reeves's performance in 1966 helped the Cowboys take some of the running load from fullback Don Perkins and reach its first championship game.

In 1967 he posted back to back seasons with more than 600 yards and he was the Cowboys second leading rusher with 603 yards and third in receiving with 490 yards. In week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles he recorded a touchdown run, touchdown reception, and touchdown pass in the same game. He also set a team record scoring 4 touchdowns in a game against the Atlanta Falcons.

During the first half of his NFL career, he became a multi-talented player and displayed the ability to consistently make big plays.

He remained a starter until week 4 of the 1968 season, when he tore ligaments in his right knee and was lost for the season. That knee injury ended up hampering him for the remainder of his playing career and limiting his abilities.

Because of his injury, Tom Landry started playing him in spots and asked him to become a player coach, giving more playing time to Calvin Hill and Duane Thomas. He did that for 3 years, until the end of the 1972 season when he retired to become a full-time assistant coach.

Reeves played eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, collected 1,990 rushing yards, 1,693 receiving yards and 42 touchdowns.[2] Reeves threw a touchdown pass in the Cowboys' losing effort in the legendary Ice Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.[3] The Cowboys made the playoffs every year of Reeves's playing days, reaching the Super Bowl twice and culminating in a 24-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI following the 1971 season. In Super Bowl V with the Cowboys and Colts tied at 13 in the last 2 minutes, Dan Reeves let a pass go through his hands and it was intercepted, setting up the Colts in Dallas territory. The Colts would win the game on a 32-yard field goal from Jim O'Brien with 5 seconds left.

Reeves holds the record of most Super Bowl appearances as a player and or coach with 9.

In 2010, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Coaching career[edit]

Reeves, a protégé of Tom Landry, became the youngest head coach in the NFL when he joined the Denver Broncos in 1981 as Vice President and Head Coach. After acquiring quarterback John Elway in a trade, Reeves guided the Broncos to six post-season appearances, five divisional titles, three AFC championships and three Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl XXI, XXII and XXIV) during his 12-year tenure. Reeves was fired after the 1992 season and replaced by his protégé and friend Wade Phillips.

He was the only AFC coach in the decade of the 1980s to lead his team to consecutive Super Bowl berths and his Broncos appeared in the Super Bowl three times during a span of four years.

Reeves served as New York Giants head coach from 1993-1996. In his first season he led the Giants to an 11–5 record and a berth in the playoffs. Reeves' 1993 season record is the best ever for a first-year Giants coach. Reeves was named the 1993 Associated Press Coach of the Year after helping the Giants improve from a 6-10 record in 1992. Reeves was fired again after the Giants went 5–11 in 1995 and 6–10 in 1996.

In 1997 Reeves was named the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. Under his command the team, which had finished the 1996 campaign with a 3–13 record, steadily improved. After going 7-9 his first season, Reeves took Atlanta to the greatest season in franchise history.

The Falcons went 14–2 in 1998, going on to capture their first NFC championship. Reeves coached the Falcons to a 12–2 record before being hospitalized for the final two regular season games to undergo quadruple-bypass heart surgery in December. Reeves managed to return to the sidelines just three weeks later to lead the Falcons to victory in their first NFC Championship. During Super Bowl XXXIII, Reeves' Falcons were pitched against his former team, the defending champions Denver Broncos whose quarterback Elway was in final last season; the Falcons lost 34-19. In the process, Reeves earned the NFL's top coaching awards as he was named the 1998 NFL Coach of the Year.

In 2003, after winning just 3 of the first 13 games, Reeves asked to be released and the Falcons replaced him with Wade Phillips as interim coach for 3 games, making it the second time for Reeves to be succeeded by Phillips as an NFL head coach. Recently, Reeves has played an active role in the starting of Georgia State University's football program.

In January 2009, Dan Reeves interviewed with the San Francisco 49ers for their offensive coordinator job.

After negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys (which, coincidentally, had Phillips as their head coach), Reeves became a consultant for the team in February 2009. This role was short-lived, however, as it only lasted two days before Reeves turned in the keys to his office and hit the road. Reeves and the Cowboys could apparently not reach conclusions as to Reeves' role with the team. In the days following, it was revealed that the dispute came down to a contract clause specifying a number of hours per week to be worked, which Reeves deemed insulting.

Reeves was reportedly interested in returning to coaching for the 2010 season as a part of Chan Gailey's staff with the Buffalo Bills.[4]

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
DEN 1981 10 6 0 .625 2nd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 1982 2 7 0 .222 5th in AFC West - - - -
DEN 1983 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Seattle Seahawks in AFC Wild Card Game.
DEN 1984 13 3 0 .813 1st in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game.
DEN 1985 11 5 0 .688 2nd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 1986 11 5 0 .688 1st in AFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI.
DEN 1987 10 4 1 .714 1st in AFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII.
DEN 1988 8 8 0 .500 2nd in AFC West - - - -
DEN 1989 11 5 0 .688 1st in AFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV.
DEN 1990 5 11 0 .313 5th in AFC West - - - -
DEN 1991 12 4 0 .750 1st in AFC West 1 1 .500 Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Championship Game.
DEN 1992 8 8 0 .500 3rd in AFC West - - - -
DEN Total 110 73 1 .601 7 6 .538
NYG 1993 11 5 0 .688 2nd in NFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to San Francisco 49ers in NFC Divisional Game.
NYG 1994 9 7 0 .563 2nd in NFC East - - - -
NYG 1995 5 11 0 .313 4th in NFC East - - - -
NYG 1996 6 10 0 .375 5th in NFC East - - - -
NYG Total 31 33 0 .484 1 1 .500
ATL 1997 7 9 0 .438 2nd in NFC West - - - -
ATL 1998 14 2 0 .875 1st in NFC West 2 1 .667 Lost to Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII.
ATL 1999 5 11 0 .313 3rd in NFC West - - - -
ATL 2000 4 12 0 .250 5th in NFC West - - - -
ATL 2001 7 9 0 .438 3rd in NFC South - - - -
ATL 2002 9 6 1 .594 2nd in NFC South 1 1 .500 Lost to Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Divisional Game.
ATL 2003 3 10 0 .231 4th in NFC South - - - -
ATL Total 49 59 1 .454 3 2 .600
Total[5] 190 165 2 .535 11 9 .550

Broadcast career[edit]

Reeves currently covers NFL games as a color analyst (teamed with play-by-play man Bill Rosinski) for the second Sunday afternoon game on Westwood One radio network. In addition to his work on the radio broadcast, Dan Reeves also speaks at corporate and football events around the country.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]