Alex Gibbs, Prominent Former Broncos Offensive Line Coach, Has Died

The innovative genius behind the zone lock system, Alex Gibbs, has died at the age of 80 of complications after a stoppage, the Denver franchise reported.

Former Denver Broncos offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, a key part of the coaching staff who helped the franchise win back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 1990s, has died, the team announced. He was 80 years old.

The team said Gibbs died of complications after a strike, and that he was surrounded by his family in Phoenix.


Alex Gibbs revolutionized the NFL with his running attack based on zone blocks. Getty Images

“We are deeply saddened by the death of Alex Gibbs, who had a profound impact on the Denver Broncos and the National Football League as an offensive line coach. During his 14 years with the Broncos, Coach Gibbs left a lasting legacy in this league with his innovative blocking schemes and outstanding teaching ability.He helped the Broncos reach Super Bowls over three different decades – including back-to-back championships – while building a reputation as one of the greatest assistants in NFL history “the team said in a statement.

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“Our hearts go out to Alex’s wife, Trina, and the entire Gibbs family, as well as Alex’s many former players and colleagues.”

Gibbs’ zone blocking scheme helped Denver develop a dominant running game focused on Hall of Famer Terrell Davis, who helped head coach Mike Shanahan and the Broncos win Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII.

Davis was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player after the 1998 season, when he set a career-high 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns. To cap off that spectacular season, he was named MVP in Super Bowl XXXII, after racking up 157 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

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Gibbs’ career as an NFL coach began in 1984 and ran through 2013, and included three separate stints with the Broncos. He began his career with four seasons as the team’s offensive line coach before returning in 1995 for a nine-year stint as assistant head coach / offensive line coach, culminating at the end of the 2003 season. He returned in 2013 as offensive line consultant.

Gibbs was an assistant coach for three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons (2004-06); two seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders and Shanahan (1988-89), the San Diego Chargers (1990-91), the Kansas City Chiefs (1993-94) and the Houston Texans (2008-09), each; and one year with the Indianapolis Colts (1992). He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, but abruptly retired before Game 1 of that season.