For 20-plus years, Kubiak was a contributing factor to a number of successful seasons for various teams. He got his first head coach opportunity with the Texans from 2006-13.
In eight seasons in Houston, Kubiak posted at least a .500 record in three of his first five campaigns before leading the Texans to first place finishes in the AFC South in 2011 and 2012. Houston finished 10-6 and 12-4, respectively, in those seasons. The team also won its wild card game and lost in the Divisional Round both years.
During Week 9 of the 2013 season, Kubiak was taken off the field on a stretcher after collapsing on his way to the locker room at halftime. It was reported the following day that he suffered a TIA, or transient ischemic attack, which occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery for a short time and affects blood flow in the brain.
He returned the following week and coached the Texans for the next month before management ultimately decided to part ways with him after the team’s season-long struggles produced a 2-11 record. Kubiak left Houston with the most career wins (61) in franchise history.
Kubiak would go on to serve as the Ravens OC, helping Baltimore return to the postseason after it missed out the previous season, before taking over as Denver’s HC from 2015-16. Joining the Broncos marked a sort of homecoming for Kubiak considering that Denver is where the former QB played out his entire nine-year NFL career behind friend John Elway.
With Peyton Manning under center, Kubiak led the Broncos to a 12-4 season in 2015 and a 24-10 victory in Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers. Following Manning’s retirement, Denver remained respectable in ’16, now with Trevor Siemian starting, and finished 9-7 but fell short of the playoffs.
It was also during that season that Kubiak experienced another health scare following Week 5, which led to him sitting out a week after being diagnosed with a “complex migraine.” He resigned at the end of the season and took two years off from coaching before joining Minnesota.
Shortly after hanging up his cleats in 1992, Kubiak returned to his alma mater, Texas A&M, where he got his coaching start as running backs coach for two seasons. From there, he transitioned to becoming the 49ers QB coach in 1994 where he helped future Hall of Famer Steve Young to one of his best seasons. Young won his second MVP and first Super Bowl as a starter that season.
He also enjoyed successful OC stints for the Broncos — 1995-2002 (also QB coach) and 2003-05 — and served as the club’s senior personnel advisor in 2017-18.
Kubiak departs the NFL having been a part of four Super-Bowl winning seasons as a coach. His all-time head coaching records stand at 82-75 in the regular season and 5-2 in the postseason.