Alex Gibbs, Longtime NFL Coach, Dead at 80

Alex Gibbs, a longtime NFL assistant coach who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, died on Monday, the team announced. He was 80 years old. The Broncos revealed that Gibbs died from complications from a stroke at his home in Phoenix, surrounded by his family.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Alex Gibbs, who had a profound impact on the Denver Broncos and the National Football League as an offensive line coach," the Broncos said in a statement. "During his 14 years with the Broncos, Coach Gibbs left a lasting legacy on this league with his innovative blocking schemes and outstanding teaching ability. He helped the Broncos to Super Bowls during three different decades—including back-to-back World Championships—while forging a reputation as one of the greatest assistant coaches in NFL history. Our hearts go out to Alex's wife, Trina, and the entire Gibbs family as well as Alex's many former players and fellow coaches."

Gibbs was the Broncos offensive line coach from 1984-1987 and returned to be the assistant head coach/offensive line from 1995-2003. He came back to the team one last time in 2013 to be an offensive line consultant. His zone-blocking scheme was a big reason the Broncos won the Super Bowl in 1997 and 1998. With smaller and faster offensive linemen, the Broncos were able to have a dominant rushing attack led by Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis. That led to John Elway, another Hall of Famer, taking fewer hits and being more effective in the passing game.

Along with coaching for the Broncos, Gibbs spent time with the Los Angeles Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks. He was never a head coach but was an assistant head coach for the Raiders, Broncos, Falcons and Texans in his career.


Before coaching in the NFL, Gibbs spent 15 years coaching in college. He spent time at Duke, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio State, Auburn and Georgia and coached either offensive line or defensive backs.