Gator football legend John Reaves found dead at 67

Florida quarterback John Reaves waves the trophy he won for being named Most Valuable Player in the Florida-Miami football game which Florida won 45-16, Nov. 29, 1971 in Miami. Reaves passed for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass. (AP Photo)
John Reaves, Facebook photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – University of Florida football fans are mourning the death of a legendary player from Tampa, John Reaves.

The 67-year-old former Gator and Bucs quarterback was found dead in his South Tampa home on Tuesday.

According to a Hillsborough County Medical Examiner spokesperson, a family member went to check on Reaves and found him dead in his bed at home on Tuesday afternoon.

The medical examiner’s office is conducting a routine death investigation and has not determined a cause of death.

Reaves was a hometown football star who played for Robinson High School and went on to become All American quarterback for the Gators at the University of Florida. He was a first-round draft pick in the 1972 NFL Draft and played for the Philadelphia Eagles and other NFL teams – including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers- during his 13 years in the NFL.

He was voted one of the top 50 players for the Cincinnati Bengals 50-year Anniversary and recently posted about the honor on his Facebook page, “John Reaves voted one of Top 50 Players in Cincinnati Bengal 50 Year Anniversary. Invited to game and special events weekend by Bengals this year. Wow! Didn’t see that coming,” he wrote.

Reaves was a coach at UF under Steve Spurrier from 1990 to 1992 and again in 1994. He was also a coach at South Carolina from 1995 to 1997.

Reaves went on to open his own real estate company, John Reaves Real Estate, which had an office on Henderson Boulevard in Tampa.

He leaves behind three children and several grandchildren.

Reaves’ friends and fans are mourning his death and are paying tribute to him on social media.

No details have been released about funeral arrangements.


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