The Denver Broncos announced Monday that HC Gary Kubiak is, in fact, stepping down as the team’s head coach.
Here’s a statement from Kubiak:
“As I told our team last night, this is an extremely difficult decision to step down as head coach. I love to work and I love football, but ultimately the demands of the job are no longer a good fit for me.
“I gave everything I had to this team the last two seasons, but this year, in particular, has been tough on me. As hard as it is to leave this position, I know that it’s the best thing for myself, my family and the Denver Broncos.
“I’ve been blessed to spend more than two decades with the Broncos working for Mr. Bowlen and a great organization from top to bottom. I’m forever grateful to this team, in particular John Elway and Joe Ellis, for giving me the opportunity to serve as its head coach. There are countless others to thank, including players, coaches, personnel staff, trainers, support staff and fans.
“Although we fell short of our goals this year, I’m proud of our teams these past two seasons. Helping to bring Mr. Bowlen, his family and this organization its third Super Bowl is something that will always be very special to me.
“I’m not sure what my future holds, but I know that I’ll always consider myself a Bronco. This team is in good hands with a lot of outstanding people, and I expect great things ahead for the Denver Broncos.”
Here’s a statement from John Elway:
“When Gary informed me of his decision to step down as head coach, I was obviously saddened and disappointed. But, I understand and respect Gary for doing what’s right for him as well as his family.
“From the time he was hired as head coach, Gary worked to get the most out of the players to push this team over the top. He gave everything he had, and we won a lot of games along the way. The way Gary led the team and managed a challenging situation during our Super Bowl run was one of the best coaching jobs I’ve ever seen.
“Gary’s been a teammate, co-worker and, most importantly, a friend for more than 30 years. Without a doubt, he’s left the Broncos in a better place than when he stepped off that plane from Houston two years ago.
“I appreciate all Gary has done for us. On behalf of our entire organization, I thank him and wish him all the best.”
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Gary Kubiak will likely step down as Broncos’ head coach after today’s game.
Schefter mentions that Kubiak’s family is concerned about his health and this year, in particular, has taken a real toll on the veteran head coach and his family. This past October, Kubiak missed the team’s Thursday night game due to what was referred to as a “complex migraine condition.”
Sources tell Schefter that the physical demands of the job have become too risky for Kubiak to continue.
While he was with the Texans, Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke during a game and had to be rushed to the hospital, so his healthy history is clearly a big concern.
Earlier in the week, told reporters he loves his job but also left the door open to possibly retiring.
“I love this league,” Kubiak said. “I love the Broncos. I love the work, you know? You know, I’m all in on the Raiders right now. There will be time for reflection and all that stuff next week, but right now it’s time to focus on what we’re doing.”
Should Kubiak, in fact, decide to call it a career, the Broncos would be back in the market for a new head coach and could be looking at a complete overhaul.
Interestingly enough, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that while Kubiak’s health could be just one factor in the decision to move from the Broncos. Florio points out that if Kubiak stays on as their head coach, he could be forced to make changes to his current staff and his loyalty to these members could contribute to his decision to retire.
Even so, Florio says that the Broncos still want Kubiak to remain with the team.
Kubiak, 55, has led the Broncos to a record of 20 and 11 (64.5 percent) over the past two years which includes a Super Bowl title in 2015.
We’ll have more regarding Kubiak and the Broncos as the news is available.