Former USC Assistant Coach John Reaves Dead At 67

When John Reaves was on the USC staff, Buddy Pough was there as running backs coach. Pough says he learned a lot about football from Reaves.

Former USC assistant football coach John Reaves, who  played and coached at Florida, died Tuesday at his home in Tampa.

He was 67.

Reaves played quarterback at Florida and left as the NCAA's all-time leader in passing yard. He was taken with the 14th overall pick by the Eagles in the 1972 NFL Draft. He went on to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers an the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits under Steve Spurrier who would hire Reaves as an assistant at Duke and Florida.

"All of us Gators were sad to hear about the passing of John Reaves," said Spurrier in a statement on the Florida athletics web site.

"John was one of the all-time best quarterbacks to play here. That '69 Gators team — with John and Carlos Alvarez and Tommy Durrance — that came within one game of winning our first SEC championship was one of the really special teams in the history of our school. … It's sad to see that John has passed on, but we'll celebrate his life down there in Tampa with so many good friends and Gators. His memory will always be with us."

Reaves was hired by Brad Scott as quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 1995. He stayed on the USC staff for three years. During that time, his son David graduated from Spring Valley High School.

Reaves was on that USC staff with current South Carolina State head football coach Buddy Pough.

"John was a heckuva football mind," said Pough.

"He taught me a lot of ball during the brief time we were together at Carolina. Sad to here that. I knew the whole family. His kids, all of them have been in the (coaching) profession. I just extend my sympathies to the Reaves family and hope that they're okay."

After he left coaching, Reaves returned to Tampa where he worked as a real estate agent.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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