Gary Kubiak Officially Steps Down as Denver Broncos Head Coach

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 1: Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Denver Broncos exits the stadium after defeating the Oakland Raiders 24-6 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Less than a year after beating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, Gary Kubiak officially steps down as the Denver Broncos head coach. During a press conference on Monday morning, a visibly shaken Kubiak said that he was retiring from coaching because the demands of the job had become too tough for him to adequately handle given his health concerns.

Gary Kubiak Officially Steps Down as Denver Broncos Head Coach

Kubiak has dealt with several health issues over the last four seasons, and coupled with the demands of the head coaching position, the one-time backup quarterback to John Elway, has decided to step down. Kubiak was forced to miss Denver’s game against the San Diego Chargers on October 13 because of a complex migraine condition. He also suffered a mini-stroke during a game in 2013 as head coach of the Houston Texans.

During Monday’s press conference, a very emotional Kubiak eluded to the tough demands that an NFL head coach has to contend with.

Coaching is a very demanding business,” Kubiak said. “Tough business. And I’ve always prided myself. You know, I’ve been a head coach for ten years. And each of us as coaches… we all have a routine. We all have a way we go about doing things, and I’ve had my routine for a long time. And I’ve always taken a lot of pride that I could coach a football team, be there for the players, be there for the coaches, be there for the organization, do a game plan, call some plays on Sunday. I’ve always taken a lot of pride in the fact that I could do all those things.

But this year I haven’t been able to do that. It’s been tough. And for the first time I’ve had to tell myself, ‘Hey, you can’t do that anymore'” 

In two seasons as the Broncos head coach, Kubiak compiled a record of 24-11 (including postseason). Last season, Kubiak led the Denver Broncos to a 24-10 win in Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers. Broncos general manager John Elway said that Kubiak approached him about a week ago, in order to discuss stepping down. Elway also said that Kubiak asked him to have a conversation as his friend, and not his boss.

In the long run, it’s the right thing for Gary, and I think that’s the most important thing,” Elway said.

Kubiak spent 22 years with the Denver Broncos, which included nine years as the backup quarterback to John Elway from 1983-1991 and 11 years as offensive coordinator under head coach Mike Shannahan from 1995-2005. He was an assistant coach when Elway and the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls from 1997-1998.

In ten seasons as a head coach, Gary Kubiak compiled a record of 82-75, including going 24-11 in two seasons with the Broncos.

As far as where the Broncos go now, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network has reported that Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shannahan (son of ex-Denver head coach Mike Shannahan) are possible candidates to replace Gary Kubiak.

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