Returning NFL Coach Profile: Gary Kubiak (Denver Broncos)

Ryan Loftis By Ryan Loftis, 28th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1fdhudvl/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Sports>Football (American)

A profile of Gary Kubiak, the new head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Early Years

Gary Kubiak was born in Houston on Aug. 15, 1961. He excelled playing quarterback at Houston's St. Pius High School, earning all-district, all-state, and all-America honors and setting a state passing record with 6,190 career yards. In 1999, Kubiak became the first member of a private school to be inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame.

Kubiak set school records for longest pass play, completions in a game, touchdown passes in a game, and touchdown passes in a season while playing quarterback at Texas A & M from 1980-82. He enjoyed both individual successes (invitations to play in the Blue-Gray and Hula Bowl All-Star games, All-Southwest Conference honors in 1982) and team glory (the Aggies defeated Oklahoma State 33-16 in the 1981 Independence Bowl). Kubiak received his bachelor's degree in physical education.

NFL Playing Career

The Denver Broncos drafted Kubiak in the eighth round of the 1983 NFL Draft, and he would spend his entire 9-year career with them, mainly acting as backup to legendary quarterback John Elway. In 119 career games, Kubiak completed 58.1 percent of his passes and threw for 1,920 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Despite reaching the Super Bowl three times from 1987-90, the Broncos were never able to win it all. The New York Giants scored a record 30 points in the second half of Super Bowl XXI and defeated the Broncos 39-20. The Broncos took a 10-0 lead over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII, but the Redskins scored a record 35 points in the second period en route to a 42-10 victory. Super Bowl XXIV was arguably the most painful loss: Denver could only muster 10 points in the game, while the San Francisco 49ers scored a Super Bowl record 55.

Return to the Broncos

Following stints as the running backs coach at Texas A & M and the quarterbacks coach for the 49ers (which earned him his first Super Bowl ring), Kubiak was hired as the Broncos' offensive coordinator in 1995, a position he would hold for 11 seasons (he also served as quarterbacks coach during his first seven seasons). During those 11 seasons Denver led the NFL in average yards per game and average points per game and made seven postseason appearances. Most importantly, the Broncos finally captured the ultimate prize, defeating the defending world champion Green Bay Packers 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII. The Broncos repeated as Super Bowl champions the following year with a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Houston Texans

Kubiak's first head coaching job brought him home: He was hired to lead the Houston Texans in 2006. The Texans achieved many milestones in the 2011 season, including claiming their first AFC South title, earning their first playoff berth, and winning their first postseason game. This success earned Kubiak AFC Coach of the Year honors.

2012 was even better for the Texans: They won a franchise-record 12 games and their second consecutive division championship. The offensive unit's 26.0 points per game average set a team record, and Houston joined Denver as the only teams to rank in the Top 10 in total offense and total defense. Plenty of players earned individual accolades as well. Wide receiver Andre Johnson's 1,598 receiving yards led the AFC, defensive end J.J. Watt became the first Texan ever named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, three starting offensive linemen received Pro Bowl honors, and nine Texans were voted to the All-Star Game.

However, the 2013 season was as bad as the previous season had been good. Kubiak had a mini-stroke during a November game against the Indianapolis Colts, and with the Texans having lost 11 of their first 13 games he was fired on Dec. 6, 2013. He left Houston with a 63-66 overall record. The Baltimore Ravens hired Kubiak as their offensive coordinator the following month.

Denver, Part 3

John Elway had transitioned from being the Broncos' star quarterback to its executive vice president, and after the dismissal of John Fox he needed a new head coach. He found it in his former backup. The Broncos announced on Jan. 19, 2015, that Kubiak had been signed to a 4-year deal.

Tags

Denver Broncos, Gary Kubiak

Meet the author

author avatar Ryan Loftis
I graduated from Central Michigan University with a journalism degree and have been a freelance writer for various print and online publications since then.

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