Larry Coyer, ex-defensive coordinator of the Colts and Broncos was killed in an automobile accident at 79

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, CO. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2005 - The Denver Broncos conducted practice at their Dove Valley team headquarters. Broncos defensive coordinator Larry Coyer paces the field as the players stretch out. ( DENVER POST PHOTO BY CYRUS MCCRIMMON cell: 303 358 9990, home 303 370 1054)  (Photo By Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Larry Coyer, longtime NFL defensive coordinator, has died at the age of 79. (Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

According to his family, Larry Coyer, former defensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts (now Denver Broncos), died Friday from sudden illness. He was 79 years old.

“We’re deeply saddened by the passing of former Broncos defensive coordinator Larry Coyer,” the Broncos said in a statement. “A widely respected coach with a distinguished and remarkable 50-plus-year career, Larry was a key part of four Broncos playoff teams and their 2005 AFC Championship Game berth. Our hearts go out to the Coyer family.”

After a successful collegiate coaching career at Marshall where he was a star defense back, Coyer worked as a coach for four NFL teams. After a successful college coaching career, Coyer joined the New York Jets’ defensive line team in 1994. He then returned to college coaching the following year. Later, he was hired by the Broncos as a linebackers coach in 2000. He eventually became the defensive coordinator between 2003 and 2006. He led the Broncos’ 2005 AFC championship win with a defense unit that ranked among the top five every season.

After seven seasons under Mike Shanahan in Denver, Coyer became the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant coach and later moved back to defensive coordinator before moving on to Indianapolis. He was the Colts defensive coach from 2009-11. His tenure included a playoff berth and Super Bowl appearances in 2009.

He was also a coach in the USFL, with the Memphis Showboats as well as the Michigan Panthers.

Coyer joined Shanahan for one more year as Washington Commanders Scout in 2013. In 2014, he retired as New Mexico State’s defensive coordinator.

Coyer stated, via the The Alliance Review in his retirement. “Too many guys are drawing attention to themselves.”

He said, “Football doesn’t have to be more important than your everyday life.”[It’s] It’s not about making a lot of money. It’s about building a foundation to live your life.

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