Just one season removed from leading the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 win, head coach Gary Kubiak has decided to retire from coaching, he announced Monday.
“I’ve had my routine for a long time,” Kubiak said. “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 gameplan, call 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 no more.’ ... I have struggled big time this year.”
On Sunday, Kubiak informed Broncos players that he planned to step down as the head coach.
“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,” Kubiak said.
This season has been a disappointment for Denver. The Broncos are 9-7 and were eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16, thanks to a lackluster offense that hasn’t been able to do enough to get wins despite another strong season from its defense.
Following Denver’s Week 5 loss at home to the Atlanta Falcons, Kubiak was taken to the hospital to be evaluated for flu-like symptoms. The team released a statement saying Kubiak was being evaluated as a precaution, but later announced he had been “diagnosed with a complex migraine condition that caused extreme fatigue and body weakness.”
Kubiak had to take a week off from the Broncos, and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis served as the team’s interim head coach for a Thursday Night Football loss to the San Diego Chargers in Week 6.
It was not Kubiak’s first health scare. In 2013, during his time as the Houston Texans’ head coach, Kubiak collapsed on his way off the field at halftime of a matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. He was taken to the hospital, and doctors determined he had suffered a transient ischemic attack, which is commonly described as a ministroke.
Over the past two seasons with the Broncos, Kubiak is 21-11 in the regular season and 3-0 in the playoffs, including last year’s Super Bowl victory.
The Broncos knocked off the Raiders 24-7 in Week 17.