Just one year removed from winning Super Bowl 50, Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak has decided to retire.
Gary Kubiak just told his team he's retiring saying it's not about him it's about the team
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January 2, 2017
Kubiak faced health issues that caused him to miss a game and after winning three Super Bowls in Denver, two as an assistant and one last year, it was time for him to move on.
“He told us,” Broncos cornerback Chris Harris said to the Denver Post. “He didn’t want to tell us during the week. We wanted to send him out the right way with a win.”
Kubiak, 55, suffered his second health scare on the job in October when he was hospitalized following a loss to Atlanta and diagnosed with a “complex migraine.” He missed a week of work and stayed behind in Colorado while the team played in San Diego on a Thursday night.
In 2013, while head coach of the Houston Texans, Kubiak collapsed during halftime of a game against the Colts with a transient ischemic attack or mini-stroke.
Kubiak danced around the idea of his retirement earlier in the week.
“Yes, you know that I love this league. I love the Broncos. I love to work. I’m all in on the Raiders right now. There will be time for reflection and all of that stuff next week, but right now it’s time to focus on what we’re doing.”
With Kubiak leaving, there are a lot of moving parts that need to be figured out. First and foremost, what happens with quarterback Trevor Siemian? Kubiak was obviously a fan of Siemian’s when few thought he would have a chance to play, much less keep his starting job. On his way out, Kubiak said that Siemian was the team’s “quarterback of the future.”
“I was surprised,” Siemian said when he heard the news of his coach’s retirement. “Kinda sad that Kubiak is not going to be here.”
“I had no business being drafted, but he gave me a chance,” the former seventh-round pick said.
The Broncos job will likely be the very best available this offseason and they should have their choice of candidates. Just one year removed from the Lombardi Trophy, the team still has a championship caliber defense and they invested a first-round pick in the quarterback position. If the new head coach can get the most out of Paxton Lynch, the Denver turnaround won’t take long at all.